Ginger Baker's taken the long road to a position at the height of the jazz drums family. He spent half a decade playing jazz in England before making it very, very big with Cream. Then he nearly vanished, playing drums all the while but without the fan base Cream afforded him. Then came his two head-turning jazz trio CDs Going Back Home and Falling Off the Roof, both of which featured the bass and guitar of Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell, and which won accolades and more. Following those outings is this collection from Baker's Denver Quintet to Octet (or DJQ2O), which employs a host of the finest jazzers from Colorado's biggest city. Saxophonist Fred Hess and trumpeter Ron Miles are the best known of the bunch, but the entire band plays strong postbop. The group can vamp in a minor key with strong feeling, and it can get ferociously gritty, as on "Daylight," which gets drenched in distorted electric and pedal steel guitars at once. This is a jazz ensemble that should be on the road constantly, playing to ravaged crowds; its members are talented in every way.