“Ginger Baker... one of the greatest drummers of all time... madman... above and beyond rock... jazz... Baker... crazy... truly a jazz drummer... rock is lesser... jazz is the higher scale... and Baker is near the top of even that scale.”
I don’t know where Owen got this information from. He would repeat this rant in different forms a time or two more before he died. I stored it away. That first time I knew little about jazz.
Years later I came to love jazz. I now understand Owen's passion for Baker. This morning I watched a documentary about Ginger Baker. Here is a quote from Ginger Baker from the film...
“Independence... the ability to play a different thing with all four limbs. Which is how I play things that sound incredibly fast, when I’m not actually moving anything very fast. Because, all four beats are there in a different place, so what comes out is four times as fast. But, it’s not how fast you play... it’s what you say.”
That quote — I’m not sure that Baker intended it as such but for me it is a metaphor. It speaks of life and only incidentally of drumming.