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Bill Bruford's Earthworks - The Sound of Surprise CD (album) cover

THE SOUND OF SURPRISE

Bill Bruford's Earthworks

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 27 ratings

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fuxi
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm afraid this album is not going to convert many proggers to BB's Earthworks, since most of the main themes are unmemorable (a common problem in modern jazz) and, try as I might, I find it hard to love Patrick Clahar's sax playing. I mean, the guy is GOOD, as dozens of saxophonists are, but he doesn't move me or carry me away. It does not surprise me that we haven't heard from him since he left Earthworks.

Pianist Steve Hamilton, on the other hand, provides at least one exquisite little solo on each track. Hamilton's only problem may be that he's a little too unassertive... One longs for jazz pianists who really make the earth move.

It's worth pointing out that the same band actually sounds far, far more exciting on FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY FREE, the superb double live CD that was released soon after this album. In a live situation THE SOUND OF SURPRISE's best tracks get reworked with far greater energy than here.

The fact remains that, if you're a true Bruford fan, this album will be worth buying for the master's contributions alone. As the years rolled by, Bill's playing kept getting better and better... If you're really enamoured of his style (be it with Yes, King Crimson or in whatever context) you'll definitely want to give this album a spin from time to time, just to remind yourself of the superb things Bill used to do. So let me recommend this album to all Bruford freaks, albeit with reservations.

fuxi | 3/5 |

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