This three disc set is interesting for Bruce fans and fans of his bass style. The second disc features the Jack Bruce Band's 'Old Grey Whistle Test' TV performance back in 1975, that I felt at the time was a bit limp, certainly without the fire of earlier bands. This combination never really took off, but Micky Taylor's post Stones playing is interesting. Unfortunately Bruce never really hit popular taste after the heights of Cream, but apparently this was the way he wanted it to be, preferring his jazz roots. Clem Clempson, who played in one of his later bands, described Bruce's music as much more difficult to play than conventional rock-blues songs, his compositions and arrangements being much more complex and unusual. Features luminaries such as Chris Spedding, Dick Heckstall-Smith, John Marshall, Jon Hiseman, Graham Bond and others. A purist's collection.
An excellent live cross section of Jack Bruce's mainly solo album fine body of work.Have been a follower since the days of the Graham Bond Organisation,Cream ,his vastly underrated solo work and even through different era's such as his time with Bruce,West and Laing.The recordings are fine and assisted by his band of first rate musicians, here is part of his legacy for all to admire and look up to.Thanks Jack for all your remarkable music.
I decided to get this to remind me of the early years. Strange to relate I really loved the more mature voice of recent times, however it is all about the talent. With 'Cream' I felt he was the catalyst, and stimulus. Just sad that he is no longer with us. God bless.
With this release in stereo of the 1971 concert we can hear that Jack really was clearly continuing the exploration of what, in a 1967 interview quoted in Time magazine, he termed the 'neo-contrapuntal' style of rock - but now in a completely different direction. In the poor quality mono of the original release of the concert this was perhaps less easy to grasp in some respects. But although this new release of the 1971 concert is far superior in clarity there doesn't seem to have been any effort made to balance the sound on the first track. The result is that Spedding's guitar is far too dominant on this number, becoming excruciatingly loud as what appears to be a not particularly brilliant solo progresses. In any case the bass is far from being loud enough by any normal standard, and that is true for all the tracks. In the old mono release the guitar is not so loud and is perfectly opposed by the bass guitar, so that the ear is equally attracted by, and of course conflicted by, both. Heard like that Spedding's 'solo' makes perfect sense - not as a solo but for what it really is, one half of a contrapuntal dialogue. In fact the balance on the original mono release, which I have also reviewed, is just right, and for that reason I would urge any true connoisseur to buy that in addition to this. Once understood the contrapuntal tensions are conveyed perfectly well even in mono. But at least with most of the tracks in stereo we can hear a lot of other things going on with better separation - notably Graham Bond's organ sound. Spatial separation adds an extra dimension to competing strands of counterpoint. The stereo also comes off best in the way it reveals the extraordinary vocal capabilities of Bruce. In this concert we have the evidence that he was capable of doing in live performance some of the seemingly impossible things he could do in the studio. The Rockpalast DVD also has some good evidence. Otherwise you have to go back to some of the live Cream recordings. The order of the set is much more satisfying on this reissue with the superb rendition of 'Folk Song' placed third after the two energetic opening numbers.
I shall continue this for the other concerts when I have time. But I have in any case already reviewed one of them separately in the listing of its original release.
This great box-set contains four concerts with Jack, who must be considered one of the true legends of modern music. A revolutionary pioneer on electric bass, a highly accomplished vocalist, a gifted and very diverse composer. A multitalent spanning so many genres: rock, blues, jazz, avant-garde.
Two of the shows have been released already. The 1971 with Chris Spedding, Graham Bond and John Marshall, and the 1975 presenting one of his hottest bands ever featuring Mick Taylor and Carla Bley. But here in a superior soundquality. We also get a performance from his 1977 outfit with a young Simon Philips, already then a formidable drummer.The interplay between him and Jack's fretless bass-magic certainly more than makes up for the rather inadequate guitarwork of Hughie Burns.
Neither of these shows might be Jack at his absolute best. Being a spontanous and erratic performer, he's rarely at his finest in this more formal settings. But there's plenty to enjoy. Some fine versions of the marvelous songs from his first three solo-albums, some rearranged Cream-classics and from time to time inspired and transcendent moments of pure music.
Spread over the three discs we also get some fine jazzy moments with Jack in the fine company of Jon Hiseman and saxlegend John Surman.
As with all from the bassmaestro, the mastermind behind Cream, this is essential stuff for all lovers of true progressive and inventive music.
Jack Bruce is one of Britain's best vocalists and a fantastic musician. This set of concerts is a must for any fan. Jack was the magic ingredient in Cream, notice how bland and plastic West Coast American the vast majority of Eric Clapton's solo output has been. The best thing Clapton has released since leaving Cream was the Cream Reunion Concert album.
There is something magical about Jack Bruce's vocals and playing that really hits the mark for me.
I can't believe that Jack died, yet!My friend announced me that before 3 hours.He was one of the best bass players,outstanding composer and singer.Gave us(me)enjoyable moments through listening his beautiful music.It is great lost for music.Thank you man for everything,for SPIRIT and more...R.I.P.
Brilliant album if you are a Jack Bruce fan. Recording quality is not top notch, as you might expect from a live performance, but that hardly detracts from the music and the performance both of which I would highly recommend. There is a great selection of work on this release and even a section of the jazz work he did with the saxophonist John Surman. Very highly recommended.
I was happily surprised with the jazz numbers on this set.It would make a fabulous album to combine these six numbers with the three last tracks on Solid Bond that also feature John Hiseman ,John McLaughlin,and Dick Heckstall Smith and make a brilliant companion to Things we like .The perfect Jazz Bruce.