The first album in eight years from the legendary drummer Ginger Baker, best known for his time with the game-changing supergroup Cream (with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce) and for being a true music pioneer. On “Why?” he leads his powerhouse Jazz Confusion Quartet, which includes The J.B.’s saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth and Ghanaian percussionist Abass Dodoo. On the heels of the 2012 documentary “Beware of Mr. Baker,” which brought him and his fascinating life to a wider public, Ginger Baker takes the influences that helped shape him and puts them out front on “Why?”
They perform a potent mix of jazz and Afrobeat across eight songs, which includes compositions by Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, a traditional Nigerian song, plus originals by Pee Wee Ellis and Mr. Baker. The “Why?” show has been filling venues throughout the UK and Europe, translating well to this unique album.
Ginger’s in his element on this material, and it sounds like this is where his heart is. So natural. Like him or not – and he has a reputation for being a difficult sod as we all know – one cannot deny he is a true one off, as a master of his chosen instrument and a leader not a follower.