Synopsis for
"Omnibus" Ginger Baker in Africa (1973)

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A vintage documentary of Ginger Baker in Africa, a trip undertaken in 1971. He was leaving behind his fame in Cream, and traveling to Lagos to set up a recording studio. Ginger was one of the first western rock musicians to realize the potential of African music as an influence of and source of fusion with jazz and rock. ( E.g., Paul Simon's "Graceland" wasn't released until 1986.) He decided it would be a valuable musical experience to travel overland with one of the earliest Range Rover models to Nigeria, including a crossing of the Sahara Desert. The trip was documented by Tony Palmer. Tony says: "The music of Nigeria, once we got there, was a revelation. This was before the time of the oil boom and a succession of corrupt governments; the music pulsated with reckless freedom, from the African talking-drummers of Oshogbo, to a visit to the eastern city of Calabar, where Ginger's friend (the then-unknown) Fela Ransome-Kuti performed for us with devastating power. I remember filming Kuti in a stadium filled with several hundred jiving Africans. Ginger & I, his driver and my cameraman were the only white faces. Scary. But not so scary as our nights in a Calabar hotel (well, maybe "hotel" is a bit of an exaggeration). The walls of our room, not to mention the seedy mattress on the floor, were covered black with mosquitos. I remember Ginger saying that if we survived this, we could survive anything. I'm glad he did, and the film pays tribute to his indomitable spirit & to his extraordinary musicianship." The location footage is interesting (if not ultra high definition/quality) and the musical performances, especially by Ginger and Fela, are great.

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