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Interview:
The legendary Ginger Baker gets back to all that jazz
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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For someone who's a bona fide legend, Ginger Baker has a modest view of what he does -- and has done on drums since the early 60s in his native England.

"I just play," Baker, 74, says with a laugh. "You can't analyze something that's impossible to analyze."

Nevertheless, Baker owns a legacy that started in the Graham Bond Organisation and continued through Cream and Blind Faith as well as his own projects such as Ginger Baker's Air Force and the Baker Gurvitz Army. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer -- and subject of the 2012 documentary "Beware of Mr. Baker" -- also has a lengthy array of jazz credits was one of rock's early World Music advocates, even working (and living) in Nigeria with Fela Kuti.

These days he has a new quartet, Jazz Confusion, which releases "Why?," his first studio album in 16 years, on June 24. Baker is also trying to crowd-fund a new retrospective album that will "put a lot of different things I've recorded over the years on one album."

"It's nothing new," Baker -- who's battling arthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) -- says about the saxophone-led Jazz Confusion. "I mean, Ornette Coleman was doing it, with just bass and drums, 20-odd years ago, even longer. We all play by listening to each other. There's no great secret to it."

Ginger Baker and Jazz Confusion performs Saturday, June 21, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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