Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Blind Faith - 1969-08-16 - Santa Barbara, CA (R.I.P Ginger Baker)

Blind Faith
August 16, 1969
Fairgrounds Arena,
Santa Barbara, CA

Audience Recording, Good Quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Drummer Ginger Baker died on October 6, 2019, at age 80, following prolonged illness due to ongoing heart problems. Ginger Baker was widely considered to be among the most influential and greatest rock drummers of all-time. But Baker, also one of the most cantankerous and volatile characters of rock music, vehemently rejected that title, not because he didn't think he was great (he considered himself THE greatest drummer), but because he never considered himself a 'rock' drummer, and preferred to be known just as a very versatile drummer. Raised and trained on jazz and blues, Baker joined Blues Incorporated in the early Sixties, where he first met bassist Jack Bruce (and formed a lasting but volatile love/hate bond). Baker and Bruce then went on to the Graham Bond Organization, a jazzy R&B band, but both found success and superstar status with Cream, joining with Eric Clapton in the premier hard rock band of the Sixties psychedelic period (1966-1968). Although Cream only lasted a couple years, the band achieved worldwide acclaim, and Baker's dynamic style of drumming, incorporating jazz, blues, African rhythms, and a wild hyperactive flamboyance, along with double bass drums, and perhaps the origination of the extended 'drum solo' in rock music, was highly influential on all rock drummers to follow. After Cream, he joined Clapton again (as well as Steve Winwood) in the brief occurrence of the rock supergroup Blind Faith (1969). After that, Baker formed his own band, Ginger Baker's Air Force (1970), which was a more jazz-oriented fusion group, and highlighted African percussion and rhythms in particular. But that band was short-lived as well, and Baker followed that with various excursions into jazz and African styles, including Ginger Baker's Drum Choir and Ginger Baker's African Force. He opened a recording studio in Lagos, Nigeria in 1973, which Paul McCartney used to record Band on the Run. In 1974, Baker formed another band, the Baker Gurvitz Army with brothers Paul and Adrian Gurvitz, which recorded three albums in the Seventies. In the early Eighties, Baker re-settled to an olive farm in Italy for a period, away from the music business, in order to deal with his recurring drug addictions. He also performed with Hawkwind and Public Image Limited at various times  during the 1980's. In the 90's, and beyond, Baker continued to play with various rock bands and the jazz group The Ginger Baker Trio, as well as short-lived reunions with Jack Bruce in The Jack Bruce Band and Cream (2005). He published an autobiography, Hellraiser, in 2009, toured with Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion (2012-2014), and released his last solo album, Why?, in 2014. In 2016, he announced an end to all touring and future gigs, and he underwent open heart surgery, and remained in poor health through his remaining years.
    Although best known for his time in Cream, I wanted to feature something other than Cream here, because numerous live Cream shows are already very widely and readily available elsewhere. I sought to feature something from one of his many other bands, but couldn't find anything really appropriate (his excursions into jazz, fusion, and African percussion weren't very suitable for this blog). So, I settled with featuring a Blind Faith show. Blind Faith, although very short-lived, was a great band, with potential to do so much more. Unfortunately, there are very few decent recordings (all audience recordings of varying quality) of their only tour in 1969. This is one of the better ones available, from Santa Barbara, CA. These shows prominently featured Baker's drumming, particularly in Baker's own free-form jazz composition, 'Do What You Like', in which Baker's drum solo encompasses the majority of the song's 21 min runtime. However, the encore of 'Sunshine of Your Love' is only a brief fragment here, and seems to include a guest appearance by Delaney and Bonnie on vocals (whom Clapton went to join on tour shortly after this). I have also included a bonus track of a cover of the Stones 'Under My Thumb', which was only performed at a few of the early European shows and dropped before the US leg of the tour. 

1. Well All Right
2. Can't Find My Way Home
3. Had To Cry Today
4. Sleeping In The Ground
5. Crossroads
6. Presence Of The Lord
7. Means To An End
8. Do What You Like
9. Sunshine Of Your Love(cut)
Bonus Track:
10. Under My Thumb (1969-06-18-Gothenburg, Sweden)

The Band:
Eric Clapton -  guitar, vocals
Steve Winwood -  keyboards, vocals
Ginger Baker -  drums
Rick Grech -  bass

mp3 - Blind Faith_1969-08-16_Santa BarbaraCA_mp3.rar

FLAC - Blind Faith_1969-08-16_Santa BarbaraCA_FLAC.rar


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