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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack Bruce or rather Cream virtuoso goes jazz
The cd was not available for a long time. Now all of us are rewarded with bonus addition and perfect booklet. The added song Aging is worthwile. It is a band that combines 1968 skills of John McLaughlin (Tony Williams, Miles Davis super star) and Dick and Jon from Colosseum (at that time just after Graham Bond sessions and ahead of John Mayall Bare wires. The cd is some...
Published on 11 April 2003

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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Heavy Hitter
I tried this one as my first JB purchase as he doesnt sing on this one and it is his true "Jazz" solo CD. The Jazz is on the modern edging on Free side and is quite a heavy listen, it has its good moments but dont play it when the wifes around as she will only ask you to turn it off! That being said its an interesting part of British Jazz history and shouldnt be...
Published on 16 May 2003 by Mr. G. D. Simmons


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack Bruce or rather Cream virtuoso goes jazz, 11 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
The cd was not available for a long time. Now all of us are rewarded with bonus addition and perfect booklet. The added song Aging is worthwile. It is a band that combines 1968 skills of John McLaughlin (Tony Williams, Miles Davis super star) and Dick and Jon from Colosseum (at that time just after Graham Bond sessions and ahead of John Mayall Bare wires. The cd is some kind of freakout compared with "nice songs" of Jack or Cream, however it is a British jazz masterpiece of that time. It is a great musical feast.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jumpin Jack Jazz, 10 Nov 2003
By 
Mr P "radletteer" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
The first thing Jack Bruce recorded in 1968 after Cream disbanded, although it was released after Songs For A Tailor.
Its purely an instrumental jazz album with Jack on upright acoustic bass. He is joined by Dick Heckstall Smith on saxes and Jon Hiseman on drums on all tracks and John McLaughlin on guitar on half. (Compare McLaughlins work here with that on his own superb album Extrapolation from 1969. It sounds like a completely different guitarist. Amazing!)
The music, apart from one track, is all based on tunes Jack penned when he was 12.
The blistering Over The Cliff gets things going followed by the awesome Statues, a ballad with a fast middle section. Hiseman's playing is so loose compared to his Colloseum work of that time. Fine arco from Jack too. It is all sensational playing. this is not Jack Bruce playing at playing jazz, its the real thing. This album can hold its own in most company.
Sam Enchanted Dick combines two tunes and introduces McLaughlins very pithy guitar and more swing than you can shake a stick at
Born To Be Blue is a Mel Torme/Robert Wells ballad. Big Dick gets centre stage and loads of feeling into this wafter with totally sympathetic work from his colleagues. HoHo Country Kicking Blues is a fine tune first coming to light when Jack was part of The Graham Bond Organisation. After the hugely enjoyable main theme it really crackles along, with fine solos from McLaughlin, Jack then Heckstall-Smith who goes for broke.
Ballad For Arthur is a so subtle masterpiece. The emotional interplay is at its height. Keening tenor, shimmering cymbals and plangent bass. It does not get a lot better than this. McLaughlin creeps in with some beautifully chosen phrases. This track is my highspot amongst many.
Things We Like is another great track featuring more typically raunchy tenor, dirty guitar, grubby bass and smutty drums.
Cant tell you what the bonus track sounds like as I am reviewing this by listening to my orginal record.
Its great that this music is available again. I guess it only slipped through the "Powers That Be" at the time as it was so soon after Cream and Jack still had a high profile. If recorded only a few years later it would never have been released.
A forgotten gold seam, go on buy it, its outstanding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 13 July 2009
This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
I loved Cream and knew that the magic ingredient was Jack Bruce. I remember getting the double LP Jack Bruce at His Best, which was part of a series with albums dedicated to Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and a Cream best of all in white sleeves with psychedelic cartoon pictures of each of them on the cover. I remember that the sleeves opened at the top and had a flap over the opening. One song that jumped out at me was Hkhh Blues. I wondered where it came from and it was only later that I found this album.

This was Jack getting his bearings post Cream, recording tunes that he wrote as a schoolboy. Dick Heckstall Smith gets to stretch out on sax and Jon Hiseman plays mean drums in, what was not too far in conception from what Cream was doing but which stripped away the rock camouflage to reveal the free jazz that was there all the time.
The story of John McLaughlin's involvement is interesting. Jack was driving home one day when he saw John looking rather dispondent, he stopped and asked how things were. John had been asked to go over the America to join Tony Williams Lifetime but could not afford the ticket to get there, so Jack asked him to join his sessions to help him get there. McLaughlin went on to play a vital role in the sound of Miles Davis' In a Silent Way via Tony Williams which in turn lead to Mahavishnu Orchestra. This album and the meeting that lead to McLaughlin being invited to play on this album surely ranks as one of those pivotal moments. Whatever you call that blend of jazz and rock that arose out of the Miles Davis group.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sideshow album by Jack, but a giant leap by McLaughlin, 19 Feb 2014
By 
Neil Mawer (Lincoln, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
Recorded in August 1968, between the final Cream tours of the USA, this is the Jazz side of Jack Bruce that had only previously surfaced on the 1963 Graham Bond Quartet live at Klooks Kleek (again with McLaughlin on guitar) Heavily influenced by Charles Mingus (check out the bass solos) as were the horn arrangements on 1969s Songs for a Tailor, this was an important stepping board for John Mclaughlin, if only a sideshow in Jack's solo career.

The session enabled McLaughlin to buy the air ticket to the USA to meet Tony Williams and kick start his international career. Three other albums to consider in the same vein if you like this one are:-

EXTRAPOLATION - McLaughlin's debut with a very similar sax/bass/drums line up, but perhaps even better than Things We Like
THINGS WE LIKE (US MIX) - The original 1988 US Polydor issue (835 244-2) features a modern remix with stereo drums centre, bass left & sax right. This may be preferable for rock fans used to such a stereo presentation
THIS THAT - a 1994 album by Dick Heckstall-Smith, Jack Bruce and John Stevens on the German Atonal label. A belated follow up to Things We like, but even freer in jazz styling.

So one far from the mainstream of Jack & Pete Brown's songbased solo albums, but of interest to anyone liking the young turks of British free jazz in the sixties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack Bruce's neglected British modern jazz classic from 1968., 11 April 2014
By 
Moontrane - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
This album was originally intended as a trio set but John McLaughlin was invited to join the recording when Jack Bruce, driving home from the London studio, spotted him walking down the road with his guitar and amp.
'Things We Like' was recorded over three days in August, 1968 with Jack Bruce(bass); John McLaughlin(guitar); Dick Heckstall-Smith(saxophones) & Jon Hiseman(drums).
The first two tracks are trio pieces followed by six with the addition of John McLaughlin.
This exhilarating album, which didn't see the light of day until 1970, is a neglected modern jazz classic which demonstrates Bruce's superb double bass work and should be heard by anyone who enjoyed McLaughlin's later masterpiece 'Extrapolation'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all great, but Born to Be Blue is superb, 14 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Things We Like (Remaster) (MP3 Download)
Something of an adventure in sound. It's all great, but Born to Be Blue is superb.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The JAZZ side of Jack Bruce, 8 Jun 2012
This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
First off, if you're expecting ANYTHING overtly "rock" about this disc you're going to be disappointed. There are NO vocals, no verse/chorus/verse, power chords, etc. IF, however, you are a fan of edgy/thorny jazz as well as rock, dig in! Stylistically, TWL (rec. 1968) evokes Rahsaan Roland Kirk (in his free-er moments) and the Ornette Coleman Quartet circa late 50s/1960s -- "free-bop," if you will. The musicianship is (of course) excellent and no one overplays!!! (My main gripe about some heavy-duty jazz players is too many over-extend their solos, noodle-ing & doodling until a real idea comes to them.) TWL is a fine jazz set and it DOES NOT SOUND DATED in the least!

ALSO recommended: TONY WILLIAMS' LIFETIME, "Turn It Over," w/ Williams, McLaughlin, Larry Young AND Jack Bruce!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
Excellent service and one of the best Jack Bruce DVD's
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ageing Jack Bruce, Three from Scotland England, 23 May 2013
By 
Fletch-a-sketch "Fletch" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
What do you do when one your a member of the biggest bands in the world, and they split. Get a few friends round (John Mclaughlin Guitar Dick Heckstall-Smith - Sax's and Jon Hiseman - Drums) and go back to the music you love best. This album is nothing like Cream, a straight Jazz album with some pretty top notch playing, fun and irreverent and a great way to let off steam. Why I had not heard of this album until recently who knows but I am glad I found it. Favorites on the album 'HCKHH Blues', Blues for Arthur and the bonus track 'Ageing Jack Bruce, three from Scotland England'

Sounds great and the album has aged better than some Cream songs.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Heavy Hitter, 16 May 2003
By 
Mr. G. D. Simmons (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things We Like (Audio CD)
I tried this one as my first JB purchase as he doesnt sing on this one and it is his true "Jazz" solo CD. The Jazz is on the modern edging on Free side and is quite a heavy listen, it has its good moments but dont play it when the wifes around as she will only ask you to turn it off! That being said its an interesting part of British Jazz history and shouldnt be overlooked. JB plays aucoustic bass and John McGlauhlin plays guitar on some tracks, apparently to earn cash for his transatlantic flight to join Tony Williams "Lifetime"
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