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Ginger Baker's Airforce - Live (DVD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 27th September 2010

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST035DVD
Price: £7.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Ginger Baker's Airforce - Live

Former Cream and Blind Faith drummer Baker took off with his latest 'supergroup' in 1969 but by the time of this rare filmed set for Germany's Beat Club TV show, Steve Winwood, Ric Grech, Chris Wood and Denny Laine had decamped to other projects, leaving Ginger and the formidable Graham Bond the remaining 'names.' What Airforce may have lacked compositionally they made up for live, and with considerable brio. Two strong female voices over a heavy wash of sax and flute with stabbing Hammond organ are propelled by Baker's energetic workout of an extensive kit.The band chug steadily through a jazz-funk fusion with early intimations of the world music that Baker would pursue following his band's demise a few months after this was taped.

Peter Muir (Rock N Reel , May 2011)

Ginger Baker is probably best known as the drummer with British rock band Cream and also Blind Faith. Despite being hailed as The Greatest Rock Drummer, he actually dislikes the title preferring the title 'jazz drummer.' To tie Ginger Baker down to one style, however, would be ludicrous as the man has mastered many styles and genres seems equally at home playing any type of music.

Following his tenure with a number of jazz bands in the late fifties and early sixties his career really took off commercially when he joined the Graham Bond Organisation. From here he formed Cream along with fellow Bond Organisation bassist Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton (guitarist) with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Cream were an instant hit particularly in America were they sealed their reputation with extensive touring and the release of the albums Fresh Cream, Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire. Following the split with Cream Ginger formed Blind Faith along with Eric Clapton Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. Once again the band enjoyed huge commercial success and played one massively attended open air gig in London's Hyde Park in June 1969. Following this gig the band released their only studio album, the self-titled Blind Faith, before embarking on a successful American tour.

Ginger's next musical stop was his own band Ginger Baker's Airforce who released two albums of part studio part live recordings.

The band also performed in front of the cameras for German television and the extended performance has rarely been seen in full since it was taped in late 1970. This in studio perfromance, which took place at almost the end of the band's creative life captures the third and final incarnation of Airforce following the departure of Steve Winwood, Ric Grech and Chris Wood who had returned to Traffic by this time and Denny Laine and Trevor Burton who had returned to their own band, Balls.

The line-up for this performance consists of Ginger Baker (drums), Graham Bond (vocals), Hammond (saxes), Ken Craddock (organ/guitar/ vocals), Steve Gregory (tenor sax/flute), Bud Beadle (saxes), Colin Gibson (bass), Aliki Ashman (vocals), Diane Stewart (vocals), Speedy Acquaye (congas). This studio date was the only date played by the band in October 1970 although this line-up would return to Germany later in December for two more concerts. These would be the final concerts in Germany, however, for the Airforce before the band split. The performance captured by the cameras that October day in 1970 features amongst others the Cream track Sunshine Of Your Love, both as part of an extended jam, which included Early In The Morning a featured track from the first Airforce album, and also later in the set as a stand alone performance and 12 Gates Of The City a Graham Bond composition, which featured on the second Airforce album.

The total running time of this performance is over fifty minutes and for transmission on the 20th October 1970 the decision was made to edit the performance and therefore the great majority of this historic and rare television appearance has remained in the vaults.

Ginger Baker remains a hugely influential artist and as such commands a massive fan base most of whom will be interested in this rarely seen archive performance.

Licensed courtesy of Joe Sweetinburgh at www.impressiverecs.com

Impressive Records [ Consultants ] LLP#

All aboard for the great Ginger Baker DVD bonanza!
Originally broadcast on German TV's Beat Club in October 1970 this
rarely seen high quality colour performance footage of the short-lived
Ginger Baker's Airforce is only now making its first appearance on
DVD. Featuring the third and final of the Airforce line ups following
the departure of Steve Winwood, Rick Grech, Chris Wood and Danny Laine
Ginger is seen calling the shots from behind his trademark double bass
drum kit while his old sparring partner Graham Bond chips in
impressively on alto sax and Hammond. With their ambitious blend of
jazz, rock and African rhythms the free-wheeling groove-based sound of
this eight piece edition of the Airforce is best captured here on
impressive versions of Early In The Morning, Sunshine Of Your Love and
12 Gates Of The City. Fast forward to 1975 and Ginger once again finds
himself in the Beat Club studios only this time in the company of his
then current band the Baker Gurvitz Army. Recorded in February 1975
when the band were touring in support of their second album Elysian
Encounter as with the Airforce DVD much of this footage is only now
being seen in its entirety for the first time. Though much more
straightforward rock than the Ginger Baker's Airforce footage the
Baker Gurvitz Army set nevertheless includes a surprise reworking of
Jimi Hendrix's 'Freedom'.

"Best known as the drummer of Cream, Ginger Baker has been called the best rock drummer in the world, but he maybe sees himself more as a jazz drummer. After Cream disbanded Baker founded the shortly-lived Blind Faith and then it was time for Ginger Baker’s Air Force that only released two albums including studio and live recordings before Baker called it a day in early 1971 and headed to Africa. This 50-minute-plus performance was filmed for German television in October 1970 and at that point the band featured Ginger Baker: drums, Graham Bond: vocals, Hammond, saxophones, Ken Craddock: organ, guitar, vocals, Steve Gregory: tenor saxophone, flute, Bud Beadle: saxophones, Colin Gibson: bass, Aliki Ashman: vocals, Diane Stewart: vocals and Speedy Acquaye: congas.

This footage is really high-class and also very rare. Ginger and his band are in great shape and sound really good. This DVD includes the full show that was originally only shown on television in its edited form. The set includes the following tracks: ”Early In the Morning/Sunshine of Your Love” (also including lots of jamming), ”12 Gates of the City”, ”What a Day”, ”Joking” (joking and fooling around in between songs), ”Sunshine of Your Love” and ”Tell Me a Story”. Rock, jazz and what later on was labeled as World Music are all combined in a fine way in the music. This is worth checking out if you’re a fan of Ginger Baker’s or just want to educate yourself in the field of early 70’s rock-jazz fusion."  Santu Laakso, Psychotropic Zone

Early In The Morning/Sunshine Of Your Love
12 Gates of the City
What A Day
Sunshine Of Your Love
Tell Me A Story


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