Rock Drummer Ginger Baker, a Member of the Group Cream, has Died at the Age of 80

Drummer Ginger Baker in concert in Brighton in April 2019

Ginger Baker became a legendary member of Cream, the famous trio of rock history, with guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce

Ginger Baker, the drummer of the British rock band Cream, who counted Jack Bruce on vocals and bass, and Eric Clapton on guitar, died at the age of 80, announced his family this Sunday on his Twitter account. “We are very sad to announce that Ginger died peacefully in the hospital this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words these past weeks, “he wrote in a message posted on the musician’s Twitter account.

Ginger Baker is one of three great British drummers who scored in the second half of the sixties rock history, with Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones and Mitch Mitchell at the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Cycling at Ginger Baker’s Air Force

Born in Lewisham, a district of southwestern London, in 1939, this musician, having almost embraced a career as a … cyclist made his debut in the midst of British jazz that opens to the rhythm’n ‘blues. In 1962, he replaced, in the group of Alexis Corner, a certain Charlie Watts, left to join the Rolling Stones.

Then Ginger Baker enters the legend as a member of Cream, famous trio of rock history, with guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce. In this group, he is distinguished by his endless solos and his style, supported by incessant bearings associated with a game of lush cymbals.

After the break-up of Cream in 1968, he was part of another mythical, ephemeral group, Blind Faith, before founding Ginger Baker’s Air Force. At the head of this formation where the organist Stevie Winwood appears, he plays psychedelic rock with rhythmic blues accents, with incursions in folk music, the inclusion of native songs and African percussions.

A globe-trotting life

The musician then embarks for Lagos, to deepen his knowledge of African polyrhythms in contact with Fela, the king of Afro-beat, and his drummer Tony Allen.

After a return to England and some experiments in progressive rock, we find him in the 1980s in Milan, where he founded a drum school, then in California where he focuses on funk and afro-jazz.

Throughout his life as a globetrotter, Ginger Baker has never stopped playing. Among his few notable records is Going Back Home in 1993, along with two other exploring musicians, guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Charlie Haden.

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