"Beware of Mr. Baker" (Vivendi Entertainment; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker was the drummer for Cream, Blind Faith and Hawkwind, just to name some familiars, and he's still drumming as I write this. Ginger was born in 1939 so he pretty much put the drummer world on notice when he incorporated two bass drums onto his kit instead of following the big band era that only used one. He invented the drum solo and influenced every rock drummer that would come after him: Neil Pert, Stewart Copeland and Alex Van Halen are on the list, but he was more of a jazz drummer that played with rock bands. His style of jazz fusion and afrobeat gave the 'supergroups' he sat behind a distinctive sound and many people really started to notice drummers for the first time because of Ginger's playing.

Never shy about telling you what he thought or who he didn't like, Ginger is very outspoken when it comes to his life. Never one to settle down and a master of picking up and leaving in an instant tells you a lot about how he lived his life - hard, but a lot of those choices were his.

This documentary has excellent footage of him playing drums with various artists and interviews with people he's played with. Yes, he's led a hard life but he's a survivor. Ginger recently released a solo record titled "Why" (2014). For those who want a great retrospect about one of the most influential drummers of all time then check out "Beware of Mr. Baker." I know we rank content with guitarsaws but I'm giving four drumsticks to Ginger Baker.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2013 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400 .