Zambian-born drummer/composer Michael Baird grew up with African music. Aged ten, ‘repatriated’ to Britain – the homeland of his parents. Resident in the Netherlands since he was thirteen, started playing the drums in a school blues-rock band, then modern jazz and latin, turning professional at twenty, also free impro and afro. Went on to lead his own group Sharp Wood for ten years, with his melodic drumming at the heart of the ritualistic concept that became known as ‘Voodoo-Jazz’. Still with one foot in Africa and also one in Europe, Michael continues along his own contemporary path of pan-African modernism and deep grooves. Termed in the press over the years as “pleasantly irksome”, “original down to its innermost fibre”, “disarmingly idiosyncratic”, “creating an ancestral atmosphere”. And yet in certain circles a ‘white African’ is
by definition seen as politically incorrect…..
About this album:
1. As any bush-driver will tell you, never have your thumbs on the inside of the steering wheel, as a hidden hole or dip can cause the wheel to suddenly jerk round and many thumbs have been broken that way 2. The painting on the front cd cover is of the drum given to Michael’s father on the occasion of his first-born by the Chitimukulu, the paramount chief of the Bemba people of northern Zambia – yes, a son. You could say Michael was pre-destined to become a drummer! The sound of that drum is heavily featured on this album. 3. The birth of Michael’s first grandchild, a girl called Lilo, really had to be marked down musically and, aged five months, she voluntarily contributed
some fine vocals to one track.
And so folks, as the journey that is life continues – thumbs on the outside!