Throwback Thursday: Ginger Baker, Jonas Hellborg, & Jens Johansson @ SOBs – December 15, 1991

 

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Giant Step President/CEO Maurice Bernstein shares with us about our December 1991 show with Ginger Baker, Jonas Hellborg, and Jens Johansson at SOBs. What do you remember about this night? Any crazy Ginger Baker stories of your own?

Jonas Hellborg is a very talented Swedish bass guitar player who came to prominence in the early 80s. At that time, he was the bassist in the reformed Mahavishnu led by guitar player John McLaughlin. He settled in New York, and I was a big fan of him.

I believe the initial connection came in the form of a call where he called to say he wanted to work with us, which was a big surprise and a thrill for me, me being a fan. I think he noticed the work we were doing at Giant Step with the club and had heard about us from others. Around then, he was working with producer and bass player Bill Laswell who had the Axiom label on Island Records. Laswell would produce records with people like Bootsy Collins, Bernie Morell, Ginger Baker, etc.

Jonas decided that he wanted to do a show with Ginger Baker and Jens Johansson, who was the keyboard player in Yngwie Malmsteen’s band.

I was super excited about working with Ginger Baker who is a music legend; he was the drummer in Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, and was the drummer in Blind Faith. Ginger was also famous for his albums with Fela Kuti in the 1970s, and a notorious drug addict as well. He didn’t appear very often.

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New Release: Fela Kuti – ‘Vinyl Box Set 2′ (Curated by Ginger Baker) + Contest

 

October has been pretty rad as far as Fela Kuti related celebrations are concerned. October 9 saw the release of Vinyl Box Set 2 (which we are giving away!), curated by Ginger Baker, friend and collaborator of Fela. Also, October 15 was Fela’s birthday, which spurred October long Felabrations all around the world.

This particular box set includes long awaited vinyl reissues from Fela’s catalog, including album artwork recreated from “original album artwork along with vintage vinyl label artwork.” The box set also comes with a 12-page color booklet filled with album descriptions by renowned British music journalist Chris May as well as an essay by Ginger Baker. As an additional bonus, box set owners will be treated to a poster by H. Cuadrado.

The box includes the following albums:
- Live with Ginger Baker (1971)
- Roforofo Fight (1972)
- Confusion (1974)
- Alagbon Close (1974)
- He Miss Road (1975)
- Na Poi (1976)

Enter our contest to win Vinyl Box Set 2.

Purchase Vinyl Box Set 2 on Amazon

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Giant Step’s 20th Anniversary: Groove Academy Flyers (1990-1996)

This short video collage chronicles the shows and events from 1990 through 1996 of the company that preceded Giant Step: The Groove Academy. This is the first time that the flyers and posters of Groove Academy shows have been digitized.

The concept behind The Groove Academy was to give an opportunity for the masters of funk and groove to perform their craft in front of a young audience and new generation of fans as most only knew these artists from samples used in hip-hop and rap. At this time, many of the originators were in fact forgotten in the USA and had to go to Europe and Japan to make a living. The Groove Academy was determined to help re-launch careers in the States and give them their just props!

As time went on and Giant Step was born, The Groove Academy became the concert wing of the company and helped to introduce new artists. By the mid 1990s, The Groove Academy came to an end, putting all events under the unified umbrella of Giant Step.

Stay tuned for more memorabilia as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and please share any memories, feedback, or your own photos from this historic time. To see the individual flyers and posters from this video, view the album on our facebook page.