Ginger Baker, English drummer extraordinaire and a co-founder of the rock band Cream has sadly passed away.

His work in the 1960s and 1970s earned him the reputation of “rock’s first superstar drummer”, for a style that melded jazz and African rhythms and pioneered both jazz fusion and world music.

Baker began playing drums at age 15, and later took lessons from English jazz drummer Phil Seamen. In the 1960s he joined Blues Incorporated, where he met bassist Jack Bruce. The two clashed often, but would be rhythm section partners again in the Graham Bond Organisation and Cream, the latter of which Baker co-founded with Eric Clapton in 1966. Cream achieved worldwide success but lasted only until 1968, in part due to Baker’s and Bruce’s volatile relationship. After briefly working with Clapton in Blind Faith and leading Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Baker spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti, in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music.

Baker’s drumming is regarded for its style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums instead of the conventional one. In his early days, he performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song “Toad”, one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music. Baker was an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Cream, of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2008, and of the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2016. Baker was noted for his eccentric, often self-destructive lifestyle, and he struggled with heroin addiction for many years.

Rest in peace Ginger.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/oct/06/ginger-baker-wild-and-brilliant-cream-drummer-dies-aged-80

 

 

The album cover for Cream´s debut album “Fresh Cream” from 1966 has a very cool Art Direction with a slightly psychedelic photograph of the members (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker) of the band. Simple, but cool. And the version with the album´s name in a dropshape is the best one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresh_Cream