100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Ginger Baker
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3. Ginger Baker

Gifted with immense talent, and cursed with a temper to match, Ginger Baker combined jazz training with a powerful polyrhythmic style in the world's first, and best, power trio. While clashing constantly with Cream bandmates Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, the London-born drummer introduced showmanship to the rock world with double-kick virtuosity and extended solos. Following the breakup of the short-lived Blind Faith, Baker moved to Nigeria for several years in the Seventies. "He understands the African beat more than any other Westerner," declared Afrobeat co-creator Tony Allen. In the years since, Baker has kept busy with an impressive array of projects, flaunting his signature bravura, intricately braided grooves in undervalued mid-Seventies venture Baker Gurvitz Army, jazz combos featuring star soloists like Bill Frisell, and compelling collaborations with Public Image Ltd and Masters of Reality.

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