Despite the fame—if not riches—rock brought Baker, he often scorned the genre and considered even the most renowned drummers in the field—Keith Moon, John Bonham, Charlie Watts, Mitch Mitchell et al.—far, far beneath him. Baker’s initial musical inspirations were jazzmen such as Art Blakey and Max Roach, and then the percussion-heavy African music that his fellow English drummer Phil Seaman introduced to him. Those foundational discoveries would later help Baker find his way into Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti’s orbit, and he recorded a phenomenal live record in 1971 with Fela’s Africa 70 ensemble. The two titans also collaborated on Baker’s great 1972 LP, Stratavarious. Baker may have harbored a disdain for rock, but he ended up playing a lot of it in his own superlative groups (Baker Gurvitz Army, Ginger Baker’s Airforce) and with heavies such as Blind Faith, Hawkwind, Atomic Rooster, PiL, and Masters of Reality. To whichever unit he was contributing, Baker bestowed an impeccable combination of athletic dexterity and nuanced power. Baker’s 1986 album, Horses and Trees, is an overlooked gem produced by the well-connected funk/dub/jazz ma...