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Bill Bruford - Bruford: Feels Good To Me CD (album) cover


Bill Bruford


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.94 | 193 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Bruford's most highly rated solo album before creating his Earthworks Band is one that I always had problems understanding why it received such highly rated reviews. Not being much a fan of National Health, UK or Earthworks itself, I am also not quite as keen on later 70's fusion (as opposed to early 70's jazz Rock ala Bitches Brew or Nucleus), you might just get a glimpse of why I will not be that lenient on this album. While BB's backing band holds some of the best names in the Fusion/Canterbury realm, this album appears to be a little light on the songwriting and a bit heavy on the virtuosic side: indeed Dave Stewart and Allan Holdsworth were the usual friends, but to my knowledge, this was his first encounter with jazz singer Annette Peacock (outside her first album, I am NOT a fan) and with his future regular Jeff Berlin, the whole thing seeming rather cold and even aloof.

The album starts strong enough with the instrumental Belzeebub and the lengthy Back To The Beginning (marred by Annette's way too present vocals), but quickly boredom settles as the two-part Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (it sure does, too! ;-) is breaking all- too-beaten paths like the highway between the kitchen sink and the dishwasher. If the first part is boring sung trad cool jazz, the second part is definitely fusional (and probably the rockier track on the album), arousing your attention to drop it as soon as it caught it. We are very close to Brand X's early fusion music, but not having Moroccan Roll's enthusiasm, even if Sample And Hold and the title track try hard to maintain the level. We soon enter a world of well-heard-before fusion somewhere between National Health, Weather Report, Ponty, Brand X Doldinger's Passport (before they went "world") or Spirogyra. Nothing to get too excited about, unless your sweet spot is there.

Don't get me wrong, the record is monstrously well played, impressive of mastery, flawless in execution, perfect in the production dept, but something is missing here (or it there something too much?), but it is best expressed by If You Can't Stand The Heat and its cold-hearted bravado showpiece. The album is closing (unfortunately) on Adios A La Pasada, where Peacock (who had graced us by her absence for much of the album's centre) comes back under a Hackettian guitar to bore us past death just after the mega-boringly slow Springtime In Siberia.

Haven't heard the bonus track of the latest reissue of this album. Hard to give such an album any less than 4 stars, but in all honesty I can only give it a not essential rating.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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