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Jack Bruce - Golden Days CD (album) cover


Jack Bruce


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.05 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars At least right now this is the only Jack Bruce DVD in ProgArchives. This late great artist made a massive solo output after being bassist, singer and the central song-writer of the sixties' power trio CREAM. I have a few of his albums (originally received for reviewing) plus a compilation featuring also some Cream tracks, but frankly I'm quite far from being a dedicated fan or connoisseur. I probably wouldn't have bought this DVD, but I had enough interest for it to borrow it from a library. It falls firmly into the category of "one viewing is enough, thank you". In other words it was a bit boring to watch.

The DVD of approximately three hours' length features two separate concerts from the German "Rockpalast" series, Essen 1980 and Cologne 1990. The first one is a band effort. Jack Bruce sings and plays bass, Clem Clempson's on guitar, David Sancious on keyboards (and on guitar occasionally) and Billy Cobham on drums. I don't know Clempson, but Sancious and Cobham are excellent musicians of the fusion genre. Sadly Bruce's compositions are, from that point of view, of smaller calibre musically. Most notably Sancious offers some glimpses into that direction on this very song-oriented set. There are some Cream classics (such as 'White Room' and 'Sunshine of Your Love'), and of Bruce's solo output it was 'Theme for an Imaginary Western' from his excellent debut album Songs for a Tailor (1969) that most rang the bell for me. As a whole I personally didn't find the 15-piece set so impressive. Some songs were actually quite uninteresting. Visually the concert doesn't offer anything special, the light show is poor and the camera work concentrates on Bruce close-ups more than necessary. But don't take my negative remarks too literally: for a more dedicated Jack Bruce listener this is a pretty good concert.

Ten years later Jack Bruce gave an unaccompanied solo performance in Cologne, playing only piano. This wasn't the first time for me to notice how well his composition skills bend to the keyboards-only approach. If he's not a virtuoso la Rick Wakeman, at least his piano playing is completely satisfactory in making the songs alive, bursting with emotion. Of course the set itself is also more emotional than the band gig in Essen. Intimate, down-to-earth light and camera work also suit better for this set.

There's a crowded band interview in which also German is spoken without subtexts. That's a pretty lousy extra. Despite the slight cheapie nature - and myself being occasionally a bit bored during the band gig - I regard this DVD worth 3 stars.

Matti | 3/5 |


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