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The Baker Gurvitz Army came into existence when former Gun and Three man Army members Paul and Adrian Gurvitz joined forces with legendary drummer Ginger Baker in 1974. The Baker Gurvitz Army was the first real musical project for Ginger Baker since the short-lived band Salt in 1972 and Ginger Baker's Airforce some two years prior to that. The band released their first album the self titled Baker Gurvitz Army in late 1974 and the album sold well enough to break in to the American charts. The Baker Gurvitz Army went on to record two further studio albums including Elysian Encounter in 1975 and Hearts On Fire in 1976.
This live recording was filmed in a German television studio in early February 1975 for broadcast on the 24th of February. The band were at that time promoting their second album Elysian Encounter. Ginger Baker had history with the German show Beat Club performing for the show on a number of occasions with Cream and also in an extended performance with his own band Ginger Baker's Airforce in late 1970. Both Adrian and Paul Gurvitz had performed with their previous band Gun who scaled the charts with the hit single Race With the Devil in 1968.
The total playing time of this unique studio based film runs to over sixty minutes and follows the bands set list of the period drawing on tracks from both of the bands then available albums, the self titled Baker Gurvitz Army and Elysian Encounter and the studio date followed a brief UK tour which would continue in March in mainland Europe.
Demand for Ginger Baker visual material is high and has been since the high profile Cream reunion some time ago. Ginger Baker remains a hugely influential artist and as such continues to attract a huge fan base that will be interested in this release.
"This historical recording gives a good picture of Baker Gurvitz Army at their best and heyday. This studio live shot for German television in February 1975 promoted the band’s second album Elysian Encounter. The over one-hour-long, relaxed and free set includes songs from both of their albums and is shot, recorded and edited very professionally. Baker Gurvitz Army was drummer Ginger Baker’s return closer to mainstream rock after his more eclectic and experimental direction (Ginger Baker’s Airforce, Salt), but the going here gets quite progressive as well and there are also influences of jazz and funk in there. One of my favorite tracks is the DVD’s opener, the quite peaceful and atmospheric ”Inside Of Me”. After the second, more energetic track (“Love Is”) Ginger has to take off his jacket and drink some red wine and joke around before the bluesy ”Whatever It Is” gets going. “The Gambler” is a rather dull, typical 70’s mainstream rock song and the long “Mad Jack” a much more special, exciting piece that has Ginger’s spoken part overdubbed in a very convincing way. One of the best tracks! There’s also some pretty basic blues and the gig is finished off with a killer version of the track ”People (Like You And Me)” including tight funk jamming. This DVD will for sure be of interest to all fans of Ginger Baker and classic 70’s rock"
Santu Laakso, Psychotropic Zone