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Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose in NYC CD (album) cover


Bill Bruford's Earthworks


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.14 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars There are in fact quite many DVD releases from Bill Bruford('s Eathworks) even though this is the only one added here, this far. I'm having, on loan from a library, a 2DVD release. The main disc has the May 2001 gig from The Bottom Line jazz club, New York, including also an interview section. The second disc contains retrospective material, ie. clips from other DVD's, tied together with Bruford's career-analyzing interview done by Jon Kirkman.

The gig features, besides Bruford on drums, pianist Steve Hamilton, saxophonist Patrick Clahar and bassist Mark Hodgson. "An intimate, up-close evening of state- of-the-art jazz. Effortless, elegant and economical, Bruford personifies the art of the drummer", to cite the back cover. Right, this is jazz through and through. The compositions are mostly taken from two Earthworks albums, A Part, And Yet Apart (1999) and The Sound of Surprise (2001). Michael Shore's liner notes succeed also to describe the music. "Earthworks does not play the usual head-solo-solo-solo-head game. Instead the sleek, brisk uptempo tunes are full of restless, written shifts in tone, tempo and dynamics."

For a proghead the second disc is probably more interesting because of the glimpses to various line-ups in Bill Bruford's leadership. Gracefully the live cuts are complete pieces. Although subtitles would help foreign viewers to absorb the interview better, it's a good one. The musical personality of this British gentleman known from classic prog acts Yes, King Crimson and UK is very 'progressive' in the literary sense of the word. "Once you know how to do Close to the Edge, move on, or Red by King Crimson, keep moving on."

"Too rock for jazz, too jazz for rock" is where he enjoys being, without a need to firmly categorize his music. When he used electric drums in the early Earthworks period, the reactions were very divided. Admittedly they sound rather toyish, and gladly it was a passing phace. The intelligent interview goes deep into Bill's history as a drummer, composer and group leader. The visual quality of the excerpts from earlier DVD's is not first rate, but I daresay this set is very recommendable to Bruford fans.

Matti | 3/5 |


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