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Jack Bruce - Out Of The Storm CD (album) cover

OUT OF THE STORM

Jack Bruce

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.21 | 18 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars After the demise of the second incarnation of Mountain (West, Bruce & Laing) and also billed as Cream 3, JB came back shortly to his solo career but this time he worked with his friends from the extensive touring of WB&L across the USA. Though he'd also signed an album with John Surman and Jon Hiseman, the previous year; this time there is very little jazz in Out Of The Storm, because the people he plays with are definitely of the rock crowds: indeed drummer Keltner and Gordon were typical session men, while Steve Hunter (from Alice Cooper's band) on guitar handles the six strings. Don't get me wrong, this is still a typical JB album (but it's not particularly a good one), where he sings, plays bass and keyboards and there is some kind of continuity with his previous Harmony Row (though the song lengths almost doubled on average), but don't look too much for WB&L and Cream - though it's evident there is the JB links. The lyrics are again from Pete Brown, except for one track coming from Jack's wife.

Opening surprisingly of the near-falsetto Bruce voice over a harmonium in Pieces Of Mind, the usual JB solo sonics return, with a generally "too-busy" bass line. The slow following Golden Days feature some female vocals to enhance Bruce's ambitious project, but the whole thing sounds forced to me. Bruce goes one further with the next Running Through Our Hands song, and he clearly overstretches himself, despite an interesting starting idea and lyrics from his wife. The A-side unravels uneventfully with the album-shortest Keep On Wondering, which has indeed got us so (wondering) but we've got an "iffy" harmonica break in the middle.

The Cream-esque Keep It Down gives you a breath of fresh air with some good Hunter guitars. The would-be title track returns to the weirdness of the A-side, while the longer One is one of better songs, but the album-wide competition is relatively weak. The album closes with its main highlight album-lengthiest Timeslip (an obvious call to his Cream days), but it's clearly the manic mainly instrumental second half that drives it home, especially that Hunter delivers a killer guitar solo? too bad it ends in a fade-out, though.

It's a little sad that the person I consider mainly responsible for 50% of Cream's greatness was never able to confirm this out of the trio's gatefold, and that the more he tried (too hard, IMHO), the sadder it got? But then again, the same observation applies for both Ginger and Eric as well. Despite some valiant tries during the 70's (including a collab with Ex-Procol Harum man Robin Trower), it seems that Jack was more a man of the 60's, rather than the following decades.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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