MUSIC REVIEW: Ginger Baker @ Fesival Marquee, Belfast
Don’t let people tell you that Ginger Baker is grumpy. With a droll wit and a tinder dry sense of humour, the 74 year-old drummer gave Belfast a night to remember, with his jazz fusion style in the band he calls Jazz Confusion, playing for a packed and hushed marquee, as part of Cathedral Quarter Arts festival.
Jazz giant Pee Wee Ellis couldn’t make the gig, as he was having an operation on his lip - “a problem for a horn-player” said Baker wryly, whilst wishing him all the best. Fortunately, as he said “jazz musicians can read music” and so veteran sax-player Andy Sheppard was able to step in and do a sterling job, even after Baker introduced him as “Alan.” It seemed like the evening was faltering, when Baker also told us he didn’t have his normal drums and that his drum roadie was off, “doing an exam, or something.”