Jack Bruce – Live At Rockpalast (1980)

FrontCover1And now I´ll start with a real great edition:

Jack Bruce (Cream) was guest at Rockpalast in 1980 at the first time – on the occasion of the 7th Rockpalast Night, broadcasted to millions of people all across Europe Live via Eurovision. The Lineup was Jack Bruce & Friends: nobody less than Billy Cobham (Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke) on drums, Clem Clempson (Humble Pie, Colosseum) on guitar and David Sancious (Bruce Springsteen, Santana, Eric Clapton, Sting) on keyboard and guitar. It’s fascinating to watch and listen to four equitable and brilliant musicians in their blind comprehension on stage. As Jack Bruce And Band he presented a further concert in 1983 at Zeche/Bochum. Again with David Sancious and this time Bruce Gray on drums. To complete this boxset there is another extraordinary Jack Bruce solo concert from 1990 at Live Music Hall in Cologne. The Rockpalast Legacy of an unique and legendary artist! (Press release)

It is no exaggeration to state that Jack Bruce was probably the most inventive bassist of the twentieth century. He straddled the worlds of jazz, blues and rock seamlessly, and his bass guitar playing was unprecedented in its sheer imaginative breadth and power. Crucially, he was also a vocalist of incredible range and dynamism. His contribution to Cream surely needs no elaboration. As a rock star he was a veritable human dynamo, but as a jazz musician he was extraordinary too. He played a pivotal role on Carla Bley’s seminal work Escalator Over The Hill (JCOA, 1971), where he also played bass guitar alongside his old friend John McLaughlin who had previously appeared on Bruce’s pukka jazz album, Things We Like (Polydor, 1970; Atco, 1971). Bruce died, at the age of 71, on 25 October 2014, yet his memory and music are still very much alive, as this magnificent box set demonstrates.

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Following the CD and DVD package Rockpalast: The 50th Birthday Concerts (MIG, 2014) and the earlier DVD set Jack Bruce At Rockpalast (Studio Hamburg Fernseh Allianz, 2005) this is the first CD release of these earlier German concerts, but they’re also accompanied by the DVD discs.

As CD1 opens to the familiar strains of “White Room,” what immediately hits the listener is the thumping resonance of Bruce’s long scale bass guitar which showed no signs of diminishing since his departure from Cream over a decade before. Punctuating the more rock-based numbers such as “Hit And Run” there are the subtle gems which demonstrated Bruce’s unique and exceptional talent not just as a musician but as a composer. “Theme For An Imaginary Western” from Songs For A Tailor (Polydor, 1969) is one such example as is “Post War” from Harmony Row (Polydor, 1971). Then, fairly obviously, is the quintessential rock anthem for the ages, “Sunshine Of Your Love.”

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The first two CDs capture Bruce’s 1980 concert with the same line-up that appeared on I’ve Always Wanted to Do This (Epic, 1980). The set is populated by seven of the numbers from that album, including “Hit And Run” and “Facelift 318,” but undoubtedly the most impressive number, as found on CD2, is an extended version of the electrifying “Bird Alone” (dedicated to Charlie Parker) which runs to twice the length of the original. Here, Bruce introduced more of his trademark twists and turns which so infused his earliest, and arguably, most memorable albums. But in addition to those tracks and five Cream numbers, there’s also Billy Cobham’s high-voltage instrumental “X Marks The Spot.” (by Roger Farbey)

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Clem Clempson (guitar)
Billy Cobham (drums)
David Sancious (keyboards, guitar)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. White Room (Bruce/Brown) 5.47
02. Post War (Bruce/Brown) 7.44
03. Hit And Run (Bruce/Brown) 4.39
04. Running Back (Bruce/Brown) 4.26
05. Facelift 318 (Bruce/Brown) 3.47
06. Theme From An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 5.15
07. X Marks The Spot (Cobham) 7.43
08. Dancing On Air (Bruce/Brown) 8.40

CD 2:
01. Out To Lunch (Bruce/Brown) 5.52
02. Living Without Ja (Bruce/Brown) 3.21
03. Politician (Bruce/Brown) 7.18
04. Bird Alone (Bruce/Brown) 12.29
05. Sunshine Of Your Love (Clapton/Bruce/Brown) 7.48
06. N.S.U. (Bruce) 3.53
07. Spoonful (Dixon) 8.04

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Jack Bruce & Robin Trower – Seven Moons (2008)

FrontCover1.jpgThe duo made two joint recordings in the early 1980’s, and teamed up again for this record, this time with British drummer Gary Husband (Level 42). What makes Seven Moons such a success is that Bruce and Trower each play to their strengths, Bruce brings his distinctive croon/moan to bluesy, riff-oriented tunes dominated by Trower’s playing. They conjure a power trio sound which touches on Cream and Hendrix yet draws from their own deep, dark wells of experience.

Jack Bruce must have enjoyed his 2005 get-together with Cream so much that, when Clapton and Baker were unwilling to continue the collaboration, he rang up Robin Trower to renew the brief power trio fling they had in the mid-’80s. The Trower-Bruce pairing had released only two albums, B.L.T. and Truce, and was dormant since 1982, so this 2007 reunion was somewhat of a continuation of the project, albeit one separated by a quarter century. The results impressively continue where Truce left off, as Bruce brings his distinctive croon/moan to bluesy, riff-oriented tunes dominated by Trower’s silvery guitar runs. Gary Husband fills the drum slot adequately if inconspicuously, but his contributions are mixed so far under Bruce’s vocals and Trower’s guitar that they are secondary. The previous two releases called in Trower’s old Procol Harum lyricist Keith Reid and Bruce collaborator Peter Brown to write the words, but Bruce and Trower pen these 11 songs without outside assistance. Most tunes such as “Lives of Clay,” a barely concealed rewrite of Cream’s “Politician” lick, revisit familiar territory, and clearly these guys are not out to expand any boundaries.

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Bruce, who has had serious medical problems since they last recorded, sounds terrific — strong and vibrant, even if a few tunes such as the minor-key ballad “I’m Home” seem somewhat clunky. This disc’s “So Far to Yesterday” recalls Trower’s “Twice Removed from Yesterday” both in its title and general mood. The yin/yang pairing keeps Bruce’s more oblique jazz influences in check and does the same for Trower’s space rock instincts, yielding a throwback that fans of both artists’ previous work should enjoy. Trower’s patented Hendrix-styled guitar adds a psychedelic edge to songs that generally stick to a midtempo lope and never blast out with Cream’s insistent power, which can be somewhat frustrating to anyone who would like to hear these guys let loose. Still, there are enough strong moments on Seven Moons to recommend it, especially to those who enjoyed the duo’s previous work 25 years ago. (by Hal Horowitz)

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Put Simply: Seven Moons demonstrates a blazing performance by two masters of Rock & Blues, who’ve once again hit their strides and maintain their creative force and drive…in their 60s!!

As echoed by many, I’m a huge Jack Bruce/Robin Trower fan. And though I appreciated ‘some’ of the duo’s former efforts (Truce/BLT/No Stopping) those records never garnered repeated listening. Perhaps it was the thinned-out 80s sound; perhaps it was because Jack’s voice and style was definitely ‘different’ during that period (see: I’ve Always Wanted To Do This)…whatever the case, I never loved those albums.

Cut to 2007/2008. Jack (as evidenced by the Cream reunion, but also on his recent solo efforts) has re-captured the power in his voice, and his playing remains as powerful and driving as ever. Trower, whose playing has always entranced me, adds drive, punch, and creativity to every note, every solo. Put that together with Gary Husband (who’s drummed on several of Jack’s older releases) and you’ve got yourself a power-trio in the best sense of the word.

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The fact that this album was mostly cut live is evident throughout. You really ‘feel’ like you’re in the room with them; you ‘feel’ their enjoyment, and this is simply something that you just don’t hear everyday.

On a recording note, this album is brilliantly done. Again, just listen to the title track to hear what I mean. It’s clean, loud, up-front, and mastered to perfection. If the songs weren’t so darned catchy, I’d love this album *simply* for the recording.

So, if you want to hear what these legends are doing now, pick up this release. It may be classic old-school to some, but it’s inherently new, absolutely bluesy, and downright hot. Follow that path, to the Land of the Seven Moons. (Jason A. Levine)

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Gary Husband (drums)
Robin Trower (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Seven Moons (Bruce/Trower) 4.40
02. Lives Of Clay (Bruce/Trower) 5.02
03. Distant Places Of The Heart (Bruce/Trower) 5.24
4. She’s Not The One (Bruce/Trower) 2.55
05. So Far From Yesterday (Bruce/Trower) 3.33
06. Just Another Day (Bruce/Trower/Watts) 5.29
07. Perfect Place (Bruce/Trower) 3.47
08. The Last Door (Bruce/Trower) 5.08
09. Bad Case Of Celebrity (Bruce/Trower) 4.05
10. Come To Me (Bruce/Trower) 4.44
11. I’m Home (Bruce/Trower) 3.12

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Jack Bruce And The Cuicoland Express – Live At The Milkyway, 2001 (2010)

FrontCover1An excellent 2cd set of a night of Jack Bruce’s latin influenced tour of the shadows in the air album,with 3 Cream numbers added into the mix.Sound is very good,performances are excellent.Previously only available to “pledge”customers,as a download,I believe(I will not truck with downloads,being a hi-fi enthusiast–why settle for second best?)this is now available to all.Don’t hesitate,you won’t regret this one.this is a really great Jack cd,perhaps his best ever,my only regret being that he did not perform The consul at sunset,his first,as far as I can recall,latin flavoured piece,and a firm personal favourite.Maybe another time (Music Lover)

The voice and style of one of the greatest bassists ever. In a way, it comprises both the soul and the spirit of an everlasting band as Cream but showing Bruce’s unique own flavor. (Mehaudy S. Roberto)

Originally released at Pledge Music it’s great that this beautiful set now gets a wider distribution.

Mixed and produced by the legendary Kip Hanrahan the sound quality is outstanding. And so is the music. This is taken from the Cuicoland Express tour, promoting Jack’s then new album “Shadows In the Air”. And it’s certainly nice to hear just how great the songs from that album was, like “Shadow Heart”.

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The band is stellar with Bernie Worrell contributing some avantgardish hammond playing, a three man rhythm section with Bobby Ameen, El Negro and Richie Flores – all legends from the New York latin scene. And on lead guitar Vernon Reid (Living Color). Jack’s playing is wild and spontaneous as always, his intonation on the fretless is not spotless all the time, but whatever he does on the bass is never short of engaging and interesting. His vocals are in top form. The only minus – in my ears – is the overly fast playing of Reid which doen’t really suit Jack Bruce’s melodic compositions. At least for me it’s difficult to find head and tails in the vast flurry of notes.

A good mix of newer songs and Cream classics with some of Jack’s most beloved solo tunes (just a shame “Theme From An Imaginary..” isn’t on the record although it was played at the show).

An absolute must for Jack Bruce fans and for any one in to adventurous, free-spirited music. (Bodhi Heeren)

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Jack Bruce deserves to be heard and listened to by a wider audience again. His musical range is actually quite mind-boggling, and this cd gives a very good flavour of the live experience. His compositional skills can be heard on Milonga, Dark Heart (more recent Latin-influenced compositions) and We’re Going Wrong (ahead of its time Cream song). His bass improvisational skills can be heard on the perennial Sunshine of Your Love (but he plays a fulltone and singing Warwick these days differing from the rough hewn EB3 of old). His unique tenor-rock vocal skills are evident throughout the cd, but listen to the very last track as he loosens up to morph 52nd Street from funk to reggae and the band gleefully follow the groove.

This is a live record, with long workouts and infectious band interplay. Bruce’s influences include jazz, rock, blues, classical, reggae and Latin music, but it all ends up being Jack Bruce music. The band are great, Latin percussionists who worked with Kip Hanrahan, Bernie Worrell’s sly and amusing fluency on the keyboards/organ, Vernon Reid – not really a blues player but a real original with a wide range of techniques.

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I highly recommend this great live double cd to anyone interested in exploring Jack Bruce’s music. He is one of the great creative musicians of the rock/jazz/blues era in Scotland/UK! Anyone who gets interested should then buy Songs for a Tailor, Harmony Row, Out of the Storm, and More Jack than God. (Mark Robinson)

This is simply the best live CD in two decades as well as being the best Jack Bruce record ever! Can’t recommend this two CD set highly enough. (Yak la Brace)

Recorded live at the Melkweg, Holland October 20, 2001.

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Personnel:
Robby Ameen (drums)
Jack Bruce (bass, piano, vocals)
Richie Flores (congas)
Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez (drums)
Vernon Reid (guitar)
Bernie Worrell (organ)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Surge (Bruce/Hanrahan) 2.51
02. Out Into The Fields (Brown/Bruce/Laing/West) 5.34
03. 52nd Street (Bruce/Hanrahan) 9.38
04. Heartquake (Bruce/Brown) 7.10
05. This Anger’s A Liar (Bruce/Hanrahan) 9.31
06. Sunshine of Your Love (Bruce/Clapton/Brown) 9.40
07. Milonga (Bruce/Hanrahan) 6.55

CD 2:
01. Windowless Rooms (Bruce/Hanrahan) 15.46
02. Dark Heart (Bruce/Hanrahan) 8.35
03. White Room (Bruce/Brown) 11.02
04. We’re Going Wrong/Politician (Bruce/Brown) 19.13
05. 52nd Street Encore (Bruce/Hanrahan) 10.39
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More Jack Bruce:

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Jack Bruce – Automatic (1983)

FrontCover1.JPGAutomatic is the eighth studio album by Scottish musician Jack Bruce, released in January 1983. It makes heavy use of the Fairlight CMI digital sampling synthesiser and Bruce is the sole performer. The album was originally only released in Germany, on the Intercord label. (by wikipedia)

Jack Bruce’s Automatic, recorded and originally released only in Germany in 1983, is an interesting LP and one that bears the distinction of being the final Bruce catalog album to be released on compact disc. It was recorded in the aftermath of a series of collaborative projects that included albums with Robin Trower, the Jan Hammer Group, and Rocket 88; the dreadful Jack Bruce and Friends album I’ve Always Wanted to Do This with Clem Clemson, Billy Cobham, and David Sancious; the beginning of his stellar collaboration with percussionist, conceptualist, and producer Kip Hanrahan; and a tour with his road band of Clemson, Bruce Gary, and Ronnie Leahy. The story is that Bruce became enamored with the Fairlight. The Fairlight was a keyboard and computer rolled into one, and was already being employed by numerous artists as a way of filling out their recordings without having to pay studio players. It was an ’80s phenomenon that is to be blamed for ruining many a record, though it is also to be credited with at least one classic: Ministry’s Twitch, produced by Adrian Sherwood, was recorded using only the Fairlight.

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The end results on Bruce’s album, however, aren’t quite so stellar. He used the device in the extreme: he played bass, harmonica, and cello and used the Fairlight for everything else. First, the positive: musically, the songs hold up. Bruce’s ballads, such as “New World,” “Traveling Child,” and “Encore” are as fine and tight as anything he’d written. The album’s opener, the reggae-influenced soul number “Make Love,” might have been a hit with different production. Bruce’s voice was in fantastic shape on the set as well, cementing his rep as one of the most instantly recognizable voices in rock. Then there’s the rest. “E. Boogie” is a dreadful attempt at computerized urban funk and sounds like a Cerrone reject. “Swarm” is perhaps what Bruce conceived of as a jazz tune (something he’s more than capable of writing with real sophistication). Because of the production, it’s simply a mess, so dense one can’t make out just what it is supposed to be. The closing tune is a blues jam with Bruce accompanying himself only on the harmonica. Though extremely brief, it feels like a breath of fresh air after the rest of Automatic. Bruce himself admits in the liners that “I’m not sure of the merits of the project itself 25 years on, but I do see it as an attempt to do something very different and worthwhile.” And that’s the caveat: this one is perhaps for those who follow Bruce’s recording career rather obsessively and can see it for what it is — a rather interesting if utterly failed experiment. (by Thom Jurek)

Tourposter1983Jack Bruce, mastermusician, composer, vocalist, made a string of brilliant solo albums in the years after Cream broke up. “Songs For A Tailor”, “Harmony Row”, “Out Of The Storm”, masterfully blending hard rock, jazz, powertrio, avantgarde. But after that his soloalbums have been a more uneven affair, mixing the splendid with the more mundane.

One album has always stood out as a masterstroke, “Automatic”. So its certainly in due time this excellent and compelling music is out on CD. Really just Jack and a lot of synths and keyboards and perhaps his strongest collection of songs ever. Bruce has always belonged to the chosen few who can write ballads that’s not clichériden or sentimental, but instead heartgripping and transcendentally beautiful. Here we get a wholesome dose of those gorgous Jack-ballads, like “The Best Is Still To Come” and “Travellin’ Child”.

Some of synth-pads may sound a bit outdated, but as a whole this is really timeless quality music. Showing – in the many details – his great musical scope, incorporating elements of jazz and classical in the proceedings. Ranging from fiery soul in “Make Love (pt.II)” to the rather wacky avantgarde of “The Swarm”. All of it sung with his trademark golden voice.

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And perhaps the finest bunch of lyrics ever from long time collaborator Pete Brown. Often hinting at the transcendental and the spiritual. (by Bodhi Heeren)

“Automatic Pilot” ends the album just Jack and his harmonica barking out
a bleak future.

An unusual, but very satisfying album by the one and onyl Jack Bruce !

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (vocals, bass, keyboards, Fairlight CMI digital sampling synthesizer, drum programming, harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. A Boogie 4.27
02. Uptown Breakdown 4.29
03. Travelling Child 5.12
04. New World 3.23
05. Make Love (Part II) 3.37
06. Green & Blue 5.12
07. Swarm 4.00
08. Encore 4.10
09. Automatic Pilot 1.03

Music: Jack Bruce
Lyrics: Pete Brown

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More Jack Bruce:

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Jack Bruce – Out Of The Storm (1974)

FrontCover1Out of the Storm is the fourth studio album by Scottish musician Jack Bruce. It was Bruce’s first solo effort in over three years and was recorded and released in 1974, following the dissolution of the power trio West, Bruce and Laing. Originally Bruce had wanted to title the album Into The Storm but, according to Bruce, “we couldn’t find any stormy weather. We gave up and instead we found a little wood”.

The album was largely recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco at the suggestion of engineer Andy Johns, who felt, according to Bruce, that the problem with Bruce’s previous work was that he “work(ed) with too many British guys and you need to work with some great American session players and you could make an album in ten days”.

Bruce recorded the album while still addicted to heroin (which contributed to the dissolution of West, Bruce and Laing). According to Bruce’s songwriting partner Pete Brown, the band ingested PCP during one session and “they were all holding onto each Out Of The Storm Adother walking across the floor–Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner, Andy Johns and Jack. Someone said, ‘Don’t let go of me or I’ll float off into space'”. The continued and heavy drug use periodically interfered with completion of the album and engineer Dennis Weinreich was brought in to remix specific tracks so as to complete the album in a timely fashion and because the label wasn’t pleased with Johns’s mix of the album.

The album peaked at No. 160 on the Billboard album chart in December 1974. Critically well received, including a glowing review by Melody Maker’s Allan Jones, who stated that Bruce was “one of the most important individuals currently working in rock”, the album sold poorly.

Out of the Storm was the last Jack Bruce album distributed in the United States by Atlantic Records, as Bruce’s company RSO Records, which was affiliated in the rest of the world with Polydor/Polygram Records, would shift U.S. distribution to Polydor beginning in 1976.

Bruce and a photographer traveled throughout the countryside looking for a storm to photograph for the original title Into The Storm. They were unable to find one so Bruce changed the title and elected to take a photo in the woods using whatever he found, which included an old, rusty bike. Bruce is visible in the background sitting partially in the dark with the landscape and the bike more prominent than Bruce himself is in the photo. Author Harry Shapiro in his book on Bruce suggested that the photo represented Bruce’s state of mind at the time, wanting to disappear into the background and avoid all of the difficulties he was then facing. (by wikipedia)

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Out Of The Storm is Jack Bruce yet again taking a different path. No one can accuse this man of being redundant as he leaves behind the hard rock of Whatever Turns You On from his 1973 work with West, Bruce & Laing and takes on Steely Dan with a track like “Keep On Wondering.” The problem with West, Bruce & Laing is that they should have been the back-up band providing Jack Bruce the vehicle to express his artistry. “Keep It Down” would have been a tremendous track for WBL, and Lou Reed/Alice Cooper guitarist Steve Hunter provides the tasteful licks which Leslie West would’ve used a sledgehammer to find. The title track is real introspection with more “I” references than found on a page in a Marie Osmond autobiography. Bruce uses the rock format to sing the poetry that he and long time collaborator Peter Brown have crafted here.

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When played next to his other albums, from Things We Like to Monkjack, as well as the aforementioned Leslie West collaborations, the indellible voice of Jack Bruce is found to belong, not to a chameleon, but to a true changeling. In an industry that resists change, his music evolves in relentless fashion, switching formats as efficiently and quickly as he switches record labels. While Eric Clapton achieves the acclaim, it is Jack Bruce who delivers a novel and totally original title like “One” with a vocal that moves from cabaret to blues to soul. The man has one of the most powerful and identifiable rock & roll voices, and his body of work is overpowering. “One” has the drums of Jim Gordon and another venture into the Procul Harum sound Bruce has toyed with over various albums in different ways. Out Of The Storm is another excellent chapter with Steve Hunter showing proficiency and remarkable restraint. Robin Trower, Mick Taylor, Leslie West, Eric Clapton and so many other guitar greats have put their sound next to Jack Bruce’s voice, and this is Steve Hunter aiding and abetting, but not getting in the way of Bruce’s creative pop/jazz. (by Joe Viglione)

This is another excellent Jack Bruce album with a brilliant guitar played by Steve Hunter ! Listen for example to “Keep It Down ” or to the into of “Timeslip”.

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals, , keyboards, clavinet, harmonium, harmonica)
Jim Gordon (drums on 01., 07. -09., 13.)
Steve Hunter (guitar)
Jim Keltner (drums on 02. – 06, 10. – 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Pieces Of Mind (Bruce/Brown) 5.35
02. Golden Days (Bruce/Brown) 5.09
03. Running Through Our Hands (Bruce/Brown/Godfrey) 4.10
04. Keep On Wondering (Bruce/Brown) 3.12
05. Keep It Down (Bruce/Brown) 3.45
06. Into The Storm (Bruce/Brown) 4.43
07. One (Bruce/Brown) 5.00
08. Timeslip (Bruce/Brown) 6.35
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09. Keep It Down (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 3.38
10. Keep On Wondering (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 3..20
11. Into The Storm (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 4.30
12. Pieces Of Mind (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 5.48
13. One (First Mix) (Bruce/Brown) 4.58

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Jack Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014)

Jack Bruce Band feat. Ginger Baker – Almost Cream (1992)

frontcover1Jack Bruce is one of my favorite musician … who was a real strong part of my life … and here´s a great bootleg from him …

It would be a 5 Star rating, hadn’t it been a bootleg and therefore the limited sound quality. The concert was recorded in New York at the Bottom Line on 7 December 1989. The concert is rough and comes from the heart. A great moment to share with this great artist. Are on board  Ginger Baker on a limited amount of songs, Bernie Worrell on keyboards, Blues Saraceno on guitar, and others. (by luchenzig; rateyourmusic.com)

Listen to Jack Bruce and his wonderful world of music … Did I tell you, that Jack Bruce is one of my favorite musician ? … Many fantastic colors …

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Personnel:
Ginger Baker (drums on 10. – 18.)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals, harmonica)
Malcolm Bruce (guitar)
Gary “Bone” Cooper (percussion, background vocals)
Tom Goss (drums on 01. – 09.)
Blues Saraceno (guitar)
Bernie Worrell (keyboards)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Life On Earth (Bruce) 4.49
02. No Surrender (Bruce/Brown) 6.14
03. Make Love (Bruce/Brown) 4.41
04. Born Under A Bad Sign (Bell/Jones) 8.28
05. Blues You Can’t Lose (Dixon) 8.44
06. Theme From An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown   7:09
07. Blues Saraceno Guitar Solo (Saraceno) 3.03
08. Keep It Down (Bruce/Brown) 8.27
09. Grease The Wheels (Bruce/Brown) 9.10

CD 2:
10. N.S.U. (Bruce) 5.13
11. Obsession (Bruce/Brown) 5.08
12. White Room (Bruce/Brown) 6.00
13. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ (Morganfield) 5.16
14. Toad (Baker) 7.35
15. Sitting On Top Of The World     7:35
16. Politician (Bruce/Brown) 5.10
17. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown(Clapton) 7.44
18. Spoonful (Dixon) 13.01

 

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Jack Bruce & Friends – Fillmore West (1970)

FrontCover1Apart from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell, who passed away on November 12, 2008 at the age of 61, had a varied professional career. According to the wikipedia, “another noteworthy musical collaboration in the late ’60s was with the Jack Bruce And Friends band featuring Mitchell along with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce, keyboardist Mike Mandel and jazz-fusion guitar legend and future The Eleventh House frontman Larry Coryell.”

A third-generation (?) cassette recording of this spirited show had been circulating among fans and now there is a very nice-sounding (but not pristine) upgrade, thanks to Olvator, who shared the tracks on the internet.

Olvator notes: “This is the best and most complete version of this show. I uploaded another version of this concert a few years ago. Same source, but from my 3rd (?) gen cassette. I have received these files some time ago and they are straight from the master. Sound is much better! This is a raw transfer.”

While Jack Bruce’s vocals are fairly dominant, it is Larry Coryell’s guitar work and, to a slightly lesser extent, Mike Mandell’s organ that take centrestage, so to speak. Coryell might have been going through a rock-guitar phase so this is not wholly the jazz-fusion playing that fans tend to associate with the guitarist.

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But it is on the Smiles & Grins jam that indicate the direction both Coryell and Mitch Mitchell would take in the subsequent years. After all, as the wikipedia notes, “Mitchell pioneered a style of drumming which would later become known as fusion.”

Still, in memory of Mitchell, he gets the spotlight in the opening of The Clearout where he does a thundering solo. And to remind fans of their earlier days, the band drags out Sunshine Of Your Love which, not surprisingly, gets the loudest applause.

Recorded live at the Fillmore East, New York, January 31, 1970 (late show)
Very good audience recording.

 

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (vocals, bass)
Larry Coryell (guitar)
Mike Mandell (organ)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Politician (Bruce/Brown) 7.32
02. Weird of Hermiston/Tickets To Waterfalls/Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 9.30
03. HCKHH (Hayseed Country Kicking Ho Ho) Blues (Bruce) 9.02
04. We’re Going Wrong (Bruce) 8.17
05. The Clearout (Bruce/Brown) 7.02
06. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 15.57
07. Smiles & Grins jam (Bruce/Brown) 4.32

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