Persuaded by Laswell to continue working throughout the second half of 1980s, drummer Ginger Baker produced some of his most stimulating collections, not least of which were the Laswell produced Middle Passage and this 1986 set. The drummer is rock-solid throughout, which means that most of the compositions become a showcase for an impressive lineup of guest musicians that reads like a list of the Bill Laswell all-stars. Even when pared down to an all-rhythm trio on "Mountain Time," Baker, though undeniably effective, remains the big beat behind Daniel Ponce and Aiyb Dieng's percussion display.
There are a whole lotta musicians who would kill for a resumé like that of peripatetic drummer Ginger Baker: member of Cream and Blind Faith, bandmate of Fela Kuti, survivor of a drum showdown with Elvin Jones, olive farmer, polo player, born-again jazzer (his '95 trio recording, Going Back Home, certified his abilities).
Baker has always loved African music and has lived there as well, so it’s natural that there should be a strong African feel to this music. Baker is joined by Abass Dodoo on percussion, and his Jazz Confusion quartet is completed by bassist Alec Dankworth and former James Brown and Van Morrison tenor saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis. It’s easy to forget just how Baker brought a different sound to rock drumming with Cream, because his playing has always been more naturally at home in the wider rhythmic context of jazz.
Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (born 19 August 1939, Lewisham, South London) is an English drummer, best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith. He is also known for his numerous associations with New World music and the use of African influences and other diverse collaborations such as his work with the rock band Hawkwind.
Ginger Baker's Air Force was a jazz-rock fusion band comprising Ginger Baker on drums, Steve Winwood on organ and vocals, Ric Grech on violin and bass, Jeanette Jacobs on vocals, Denny Laine on guitar and vocals, Remi Kabaka on drums, Chris Wood on tenor sax and flute, Graham Bond on alto sax, Harold McNair on tenor sax and flute, and Phil Seamen on percussion. Their first live shows, at Birmingham Town Hall in 1969 and the Royal Albert Hall, in 1970, also included Jeanette Jacobs and Eleanor Barooshian (both former members of girl group The Cake), and Remi Kabaka.
The band released two albums, both in 1970: Ginger Baker's Air Force and Ginger Baker's Air Force 2. The second album involved substantially different personnel from the first, with Ginger Baker and Graham Bond being the primary constants between albums.