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Bill Bruford - One of a Kind CD (album) cover

ONE OF A KIND

Bill Bruford

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.07 | 216 ratings

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Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Cold, indulgent, mechanical, the worst of rock and jazz pushed together with no thought to the proprieties of either form, all these things could be attributed to Bill Bruford's second solo record. But that is exactly where its strength rests. Who says music has to be full of heart and soul? Almost everyone. But therein lies the beauty of this follow-up and why it was one of the best fusion offerings of its day.

Tony Williams and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu had both given us rock's raging heart, RTF and Colosseum l & ll raised the ante and gave us heavy symphonic fusion but Bill Bruford's band, made up of four of the finest musicians in the world - maybe *the* finest - was an animal less attached to the grimey floor of 'jazz-rock', wanting instead to to live the life robotic, to revel in technical accomplishment not just on their instruments but also in the tone and delivery of the music. There is also a great deal of fun heard here and the sense that these four absolutely loved playing together. Mathematical as it may be, this is an inspired set. I mean, Dave Stewart, Jeff Berlin, Allan Holdsworth and Bill Bruford... c'mon, it doesn't get much better. The assembly line sounds of Stewart's synth pushes off 'Hell's Bells' establishing a crisp sound, and some hip phrasing from his Rhodes piano and faux vibes for parts One & Two supports the title. Holdsworth, being the hard-rocker with a John Coltrane heart he is, gives his best chops, Jeff Berlin is his flawless and uncanny self and Bill holds it all together, in command but not overshadowing. 'Travels With Myself and Someone Else' is pleasant enough middle-of-the- road electric jazz and is followed by the clean machinations of 'Fainting in Coils', a stunner with a funeral-organ midsection and crack playing by everyone. Despite Berlin's wan gonking, 'Five G' is a successful rocker, 'The Abingdon Chasp' is reasonable, 'Forever Until Sunday' grows into sleak sci-fi rock with a spastic solo from Allan. And both parts of 'Sahara of Snow' are ingeniuos rhythmic play, an approprite finish to a spectacular album.

It was projects like this (among other things) that caused Bruford's departure from two of Prog Rock's cornerstone bands, and it was well worth it. A triumph, and his finest hour as leader.

Atavachron | 5/5 |

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