1/  Interlock                                  (Suso,Ponce,BL,Skopelitis)    4.55
  2/  Dust To Dust                               (Laswell)                     5.31
  3/  Satou                                      (Suso,Laswell,Dieng)          5.21
  4/  Uncut                                      (Suso,Baker,BL,Skopelitis)    6.50
  5/  Mountain Time                              (Baker,Dieng)                 6.05
  6/  Makuta                                     (Suso,Baker,Laswell,Dieng)    5.34

          Recorded at Quadrosonic Studio, Power Station and Evergreen Studio
          Produced by Bill Laswell/Material
          Engineer at Quadrasonic: Robert Musso
          Assistant Engineer at Quadrasonic: Peter Sturge
          Engineer at Evergreen: Rob Stevens
          Engineer at Power Station: Jason Corsaro
          Mixed by Jason Corsaro
          Mastered at Masterdisc by Howie Weinberg
Ginger Baker: drums; Foday Musa Suso (1,3,4,6): dousongonni, kalimba, nyanyer, kora; Shankar (1,2,4): violin; Bernie Worrell (1,2,4): organ; Nicky Skopelitis (1,2,4,6): 6 & 12 string guitars; Bill Laswell (1,2,4): bass, six string bass, slide; Daniel Ponce (1,2,4,5): bata, bells; Aiyb Dieng: talking drum, chatan, bells; Nana Vasconcelos (3,6): berimbau, cuica, voice, shaker; D.ST. (3): turntable; Robert Musso (6): organ.

          1986 - Celluloid (USA), CELL 6126 (Vinyl)
          1986 - Celluloid (USA), CELD 6126 (CD)
          2017 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)


This instrumental percussion album mixes rock with various world musics, especially African influences, creating a stimulating soundscape. An impressive return from one of popular music's most distinctive drummers.

William Ruhlmann (courtesy of the All Music Guide, via the Get Music website)


Rock drummer Ginger Baker had been away from music for about ten years when he returned in 1986 with the Bill Laswell-produced album Horses And Trees. Like Laswell’s productions for Herbie Hancock and, later Pharaoh Sanders, among others, it didn’t merely usher the drummer into a new musical universe, but jettisoned his music forward to a new conception of what was possible. Baker is a particularly powerful drummer, offering an expansive beat that isn’t as technically advanced as it is perfectly suited to the moods he aims to whip up. Baker’s rhythms are often fairly basic and don’t meander much from the groove the drummer establishes early in any song (fortunately he tends to refrain from the prog-rock/arena rock/metal drum solos as he tends to the think in more melodic terms than rhythmic ones). The addition of Daniel Ponce and Aiyb Dieng on percussion throughout adds an aurally perfect dimension to Baker’s sound that suggests the drums are programmed, even though they’re not. Even so, drum programs didn’t sound this holistic and unique back in 1986. Throughout, Laswell, who mans the bass on three of the album’s six tracks (the same ones featuring Bernie Worrell), lays down a firm foundation that keeps Baker’s fairly plodding, almost militaristic, cadences enjoyable and engaging. Bernie Worrell contributes organ to “Interlock,” “Dust to Dust” and “Uncut,” offering a hard-edged rock support few had heard since his early Funkadelic days, when audiences were knocked out by what a Hammond organ could add to rock (think Gregg Rollie of Santana). Worrell solos some in “Interlock” and “Uncut,” making these two tracks among the album’s highlights, which also include “Satou” and “Makuta,” without Worrell, both featuring the distinctive Foday Musa Suso and the always-dazzling percussive effects of Nana Vasconcelos. Bill Laswell produced another album for Ginger Baker, Middle Passage (Axiom, 1990), that also included keyboard contributions from Bernie Worrell.

Doug Payne (courtesy of the Sound Insights website)