'Ginger Baker: In Africa'
(Ginger Baker, et al / DVD / NR / 2006 / Eagle Eye Media)
Overview: In November 1971, Ginger Baker, the legendary drummer of Cream and Blind Faith, decided to set up a recording studio in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. Baker was one of the first rock musicians to realize the potential of African music. He also decided that it would be a rewarding musical experience to travel to Nigeria over land across the Sahara desert – a journey that would lead him into a number of adventures.
DVD Verdict: Ginger Baker "Live In Africa" is a fascinating documentary of this legendary drummer, best known for his work with sixties groups Cream and Blind Faith, playing with various African ensembles, including Fela Kuti. And indeed whilst many listeners do remember Baker from thoe days with Cream, his jazz recordings get unanimous praise for their sweeping knowledge of various styles. Ginger Baker is one of the all-time great drummers, a versatile master at ease in a number of the world's drumming traditions. Being one of the very first musicians to realize the potential of African music, in November 1971, Ginger Baker decided to set up a recording studio in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. Knowing that this would afford him one mighty unvaluable musical experience, he also threw in a journey across the Sahara Desert! So, as we see, he purchased a Land Rover - one of the very first models of its kind - and journeyed out to film his odyssey. Filming Kuti in a stadium packed with several hundred bouyant Africians, Ginger's indomitable spirit and extraordinary musicianship is on full show here as Tony Palmer's film shows first hand what the drummer went through to realize his dream: and that of a few others along the way. He once said about playing drums within Cream that, "My drums in Cream came about solely because of the volume the other two guys were playing at. You had to play heavy to hear yourself play. They were playing so loud! But, I mean, if you really listen to Cream, there's an awful lot of color involved in that. A lot of dynamics and stuff." And trust me, there is an awful lot of color and dynamics in this wonderful new DVD, 'Ginger Baker In Africa' also! This is a Widescreen Version Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with no Special Features.