Coward of the County

Coward of the County

by Ginger Baker Trio
     
 
During the early '90s, Ginger Baker gradually established his reputation as a genuine jazz musician, proving that he was no rocker who was merely dabbling. Of course, anyone familiar with Cream will realize that he was among rock's jazziest drummers, but his series of records with Bill Frisell convinced many

Overview

During the early '90s, Ginger Baker gradually established his reputation as a genuine jazz musician, proving that he was no rocker who was merely dabbling. Of course, anyone familiar with Cream will realize that he was among rock's jazziest drummers, but his series of records with Bill Frisell convinced many doubters of his musical merit. On one of his tours, he happened to hear trumpeter Ron Miles and bassist Artie Moore play in Denver. Impressed with the two musicians, he relocated to Colorado and assembled the Denver Jazz Quintet-to-Octet. The DJQ20 is a shifting group of musicians that has Baker, Miles, and Moore at its core and, as it turns out, their elasticity is what gives them strength. For their first effort, Coward of the County, they're joined by a saxophonist, along with a variety of local Denver musicians, and the results are startlingly fresh. Using hard bop as a foundation, they're unafraid to venture into challenging territory, where they pull together free, funk, and rock into unpredictable combinations. Baker wrote two of the songs, including the opening tribute, "Cyril Davies," but the remainder of the record is devoted to originals by Miles, who proves himself to be an inventive composer, capable of lovely lyrical ballads ("Megan Showers") and experimental jazz. Often, Coward of the County veers into unpredictable territory -- witness how the funky fusion on "Ginger Spice" moves into dissonant improvs, how the title track is colored by pedal steel and organ, or how "Daylight" is a series of surprises, as its gentle beginnings are submerged by waves of distorted guitar that fade back, revealing darkly beautiful textures. Not only are the compositions challenging, they're delivered with ease by the group, which are remarkably empathetic and graceful. In fact, it's a testimony to Baker's skills as a leader that he never dominates, preferring to let all the parts weave together to create a full, rich sound. And by doing so, he has made Coward of the County, in a way, a showcase for Miles, since his compositions become the focal point. They signal a young writer of considerable skill, ambition, and talent -- and he's not a bad trumpeter, either.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/1999
Label:
Atlantic Uk
UPC:
0075678316821
catalogNumber:
783168

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ginger Baker Trio   Primary Artist
Ginger Baker   Stick,Snare Drums
Ron Miles   Trumpet
James Carter   Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone,Track Performer
Eric Gunnison   Piano
Fred Hess   Tenor Saxophone
Artie Moore   Bass
Glenn Taylor   Pedal Steel Guitar
Todd Ayers   Guitar
Shamie Royston   Organ

Technical Credits

Ginger Baker   Producer,Author
Ron Miles   Producer
Danny Kopelson   Engineer
Lynn Kowalewski   Art Direction
Ed Osborne   Liner Notes
Calef Brown   Illustrations

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