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First things first, I'm not a drummer I play guitar. Having recently watched a couple of programs an BBC4 about Hendrix they was a clip of Ginger Baker slating the Experience. He claimed Clapton was superior to Hendrix (don't make me laugh), Jack Bruce was superior to Noel Redding (yep, don't think too many people would argue with that) and that he was superior to Mitch Mitchell. As I said I don't play drums but I much prefer Mitch Mitchells style to Ginger Bakers. So what's a drummers take on their respected merits?
I prefer mitch mitchell. But then I prefer Hendrix over cream any day of the week.
Mitch has style and a more laid back feel.
I've not seen the programme you mention, nor heard Ginger Baker criticise Mitch Mitchell. Back in the 60's, when I was a drummer, my inspiration was both Ginger Baker & Mitch Mitchell - I thought they had a similar style. I don't think it's a case of who was better than who as both were excellent drummers/musicians in their own right. Same with Clapton & Hendrix, both of whom are excellent guitar players who have influenced, and will continue to influence, a generation(s) of guitarists.
“Jazz, isn’t that just a series of mistakes disguised as musical composition?”
FS Digitech Harmony Man
One has to take account of the fact that Ginger Baker is generally understood to be a motormouth heroin-shooting sunburnt-scrotum-faced cnut, and has said rude things about everyone including (especially) Jack Bruce and EC.
I'd put Mitch Mitchell above him purely for the greater range he had on the Hendrix records.
Lixarto: "Proper ash-tray bridge or crappy modern flat one?" We roll the way he tells it.
Ginger Baker had four brains, one for each appendage. He could play four different things at the same time. So for technical ability, Ginger gets it.
However, Mitch has the feel appropriate to Hendrix's style - which was undeniably funky. They needed Noel to hold it together between them - like Entwhistle in The Who. So Mitch gets the "feel" award from me...
Coming from a non drumming standpoint I guess I'm going to be swayed by my preference for Hendrix over Cream. Mitch seems to me to have been perfect for Hendrix as BlindLemonAde hinted at. As good as Ginger Baker may have been I couldn't see him improving on what Mitch did in that band had he had the opportunity to be the drummer in The Experience.