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ONE OF A KIND

Bill Bruford

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Bill Bruford One of a Kind album cover
4.06 | 207 ratings | 33 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hell's Bells (3:33)
2. One of a Kind, Pt. 1 (2:20)
3. One of a Kind, Pt. 2 (4:04)
4. Travels With Myself - And Someone Else (6:13)
5. Fainting in Coils (6:33)
6. Five G (4:46)
7. The Abingdon Chasp (4:54)
8. Forever Until Sundary (5:51)
9. The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 1 (5:18)
10. The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 2 (3:24)

Total Time: 46:28

Bonus track on Voiceprint remaster (2005):
11. Manacles

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Bruford / acoustic & electronic drums and percussion
- Jeff Berlin / bass and vocals
- Allan Holdsworth / guitar
- Dave Stewart / keyboards and synths

Releases information

LP EG Records EGCD 40 (1979)
CD Voiceprint/Winterfold Records BBWF004CD (2005)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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Master StrokesMaster Strokes
E.G. Records 1990
Audio CD$44.45
$4.46 (used)
Gradually Going TornadoGradually Going Tornado
Remastered · Import
Winterfold UK 2005
Audio CD$8.92
$12.82 (used)
One of a KindOne of a Kind
E.G. Records 1990
Audio CD$6.83
$2.47 (used)
If Summer Had Its GhostsIf Summer Had Its Ghosts
Import
Summerfold UK 2005
Audio CD$9.75
$14.99 (used)
Feels Good to MeFeels Good to Me
Import
Winterfold UK 2005
Audio CD$9.27
$10.71 (used)
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BILL BRUFORD One of a Kind ratings distribution


4.06
(207 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
39%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

BILL BRUFORD One of a Kind reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bruford leaves Yes and King Crimson behind and climbs to a higher ground. This is the second, and to me, the best Fusion era Bruford album. The four musicians combine their talents to make some amazing music. Berlin takes the bass to a new level. Holdsworth's guitar soars and trades off with Stewart's keyboards to twist some gnarly melodic solos. Bruford's kit snaps with pure energy and finesse. There is a lot of humor, also, in the interplay. I'd love to see these guys re-group for one disc, ala, Soft Works.

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Send comments to Dan Bobrowski (BETA) | Report this review (#27897) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 13, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This record only contains hyper-talented musicians: Bill Bruford's drums are extremely solid and restless! Dave Stewart arrives with his miscellaneous melodies, catchy solos and floating patterns in a fusion album! Allan Holdsworth is absolutely amazing with his impossible guitars. We feel Jeff Berlin, one of the best bass players in the jazz history (my favorite one), plays in a retentive way, probably in order to not steal the show: nevertheless, he plays at 100% of his capacity on couples of passages. There are some outstanding percussions, especially xylophone. Everything is deeply loaded, extremely structured and very complex. Dave Stewart has many floating streams of rather urban keyboards: this gives color to the ensemble. If you like the fusion band Uzeb, then you'll like this record! I must finally mention a last artist, among my most favorite ones, who contributed to the realization of this album: EDDIE JOBSON: we feel his strong influence on the "Sahara of snow" tracks!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#27900) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 08, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This album is very special for me personally. First, this was my first album that I purchased from BILL BRUFORD solo work. Second, this was my first time I knew ALLAN HOLDSWORTH the great guitarist and JEFF BERLIN the powerful bassist. My first impression of listening to this album the first time (end of 79, I think), I was kind of listening to the drumming style of YES "Fragile" but with totally different kind of music, a blend of jazz and rock, I would say. I think "jazz" is probably what BILL wants as his music aspiration as I understand from the story of YES that one of the reasons he joined YES was that he thought that YES would play jazz.

This kind of BRUFORD music has then inspired (I think) FINNEUS GAUGE (Echolyn's transition band) through their only two albums "More Once More" and "One Inch of the Fall".

"Hell's Bells" is an uplifting track that opens the album. Its melody is dominated by DAVE STEWART's keyboard. It's a nice track. Unfortunately it ends up with a "fade out" style that I don't favor very much. The title track "One of a Kind Part One - Part Two" is a very energetic track with heavy and unique drumming of Bruford. I think these two tracks should be positioned as opening tracks. Wonderful composition.

"Travels With Myself - And Someone Else" is a very nice slow track with great keyboard and guitar sounds. DAVE STEWART's style is similar (or in the vein of) WEATHER REPORT keyboard play. JEFF BERLIN's bass is also nice here.

If I have to choose one best track of this album or any other BRUFORD's solo, I definitely would vote for FAINTING IN COILS (the fifth track of this album). Oh boy .. this is really a beautifully crafted composition!!! Brilliant. It opened with soft keyboard sound followed by short and "funny" narration by SAM ALDER, ALICE ANTHEA, NORMAN TAYLOR and THE MOCK TURTLE BILL BRUFORD. Even the dialogue at the narration is really the key to set the overall tone of the track. The solo keyboard sound and guitar fills are backed by dazzling bass playing and drumming to accentuate the melody. At the intro, after the narrator said "Fainting in Coils" the music that follows is a kind of the four instruments do not blend in harmony but it still produce wonderful sound. I like it! Every musical segment of this track creates an orgasmic and memorable melody, especially the tagline melody which is played repeatedly. If you never heard BRUFORD, I would suggest you to play this track first. It's amazing!!!

"Five G" is a typical jazz rock fusion music with dynamic bass at intro part. Well, I don't want to review all tracks but overall all tracks have the same musical quality. "Forever Until Sundary", "The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 1 and 2" are all great tracks. One interesting observation about this album is on musicianship. All musicians contribute in their right balance to create wonderful blend of instrumentations in the composition. No single instrument or group of instruments played dominantly. Even, sometime bass is used as melody, for example in "The Abingdon Chasp". On ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, this was my first time knowing his kind of gutar playing style. It's unique and it has inspired other guitarists as well.

Overall, I recommend you to purchase this album, especially if you like RETURN TO FOREVER, WEATHER REPORT, BRAND X, JACO PASTORIUS. They are not alike, composition-wise, but it might be categorized under the same umbrella. It's your call. But I am pretty damn sure that I'm not naïve to give this album FIVE STAR (songwriting, musicianship, sonic production of CD, and overall performance). You must try FAINTING IN COILS! It will blow your mind, definitely! - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#27895) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Review by belz
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.4/5.0

I don't understand why so many people believe this is a masterpiece. Sure, this is a great album, with lot of imagination and what seems to be genuine improvisation ... However, maybe it's just me, but the 80's sound and keyboards just don't really touch me... I am not a jazz/fusion expert, but somehow I feel this album lacks the emotion I could find on other albums of the same style.

That said, this is a very good album for listening as a background, but I just don't see how I could go over a " Good, but non-essential" rating. If you like neoprog or music from the 80's, you might like this, as it is "modern" in that way. However, personaly, I would not buy the album before listening to some of the soungs.

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Send comments to belz (BETA) | Report this review (#65905) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 21, 2006

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After FEELS GOOD TO ME, this album originally felt like a bit of a letdown (no special guests - no Peacock, no Wheeler - just Bill's own quartet; and fewer 'funky' pieces), but through the years I have gradually come to appreciate its qualities.

Since its praises have already been sung by so many people on this website (and rightly so!) let me just add that ONE OF A KIND will be more accessible to the average prog-rock lover than its predecessor, because of its many moments of symphonic grandeur, so typically British in feel. (Think of the 'orchestral' bits from King Crimson's EPITAPH, Yes's AND YOU AND I or Peter Gabriel's HUMDRUM).

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Posted Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I got this one a couple of months ago, and I loved it from the first listen. This is very technical Jazz-Rock, with Bill Bruford on drums, Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Jeff Berlin on bass and Dave Stewart on keyboards. All extremely talented musicians. The music is great! Very moody and very complex with very beautiful melodies. The album sounds more like a regular group effort than a solo album. And that's what I like about it. It's more natural than other solo album I've heard when the "main" musician is showing off like a madman! This is not the case here. Brufords drumming is gently laid in the same line as the other instruments.

I would highly recommend this one to all people who like Jazz-Rock/Fusion. This one's a must! 4.5/5

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Posted Friday, June 23, 2006

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Bill Bruford's second solo outing, called One of a Kind, features the same core lineup from Feels Good to Me, only this time the grating vocals of Anne Peacock are gone because this album is entirely instrumental (except for one section of one song). Being that it is instrumental, you can expect each musician to give their absolute all on this album, and the overall musicianship is nothing short of amazing. The highly complex and intricate rhythms and sequences are performed with ease, style, and cohesiveness in a way I've never heard any other jazz rock band perform. One of a Kind stands out from the rest of the pack of fusion albums I have because I find it to be the most captivating and overall rewarding album in this style. My absolute favorite fusion album? Yes. Why? Read below.

It begins with the churning and modulated synthesizers of Hell's Bells, which has one of the zaniest time signatures you'll ever see. Dave Stewart really pulls out all the stops on this song, especially during the section where Bruford enters. Holdsworth enters the song with a bang, too, with some great guitar work especially when he begins to solo in his classic swirling style. One of a Kind is a two part piece that begins with some zany vibes and some droning synthesizer notes underneath some more superb ascending and descending riffing from Holdsworth. The second part begins with some great drumming from Bruford and some well timed bass fills from Berlin, who really is one of the best jazz bassists I've ever heard. Travels With Myself -- And Someone Else begins with some nice synthesizers from Dave Stewart as well as some intuitive bass fills from Berlin, who really breaks away from the pack on this piece. Fainting in Coils has a brief narration on top of some forboding music. The track has a nice sense of evolution and really goes through some interesting sections. Dave Stewart and Holdsworth exchange solos and really get into a nice duel while Bruford and Berlin set the groove for the track.

Five G begins with a stellar phased bass riff from Berlin that soon becomes a groovy frantically based theme. Holdsworth really shines on this track giving a guitar solo equally as frantic as the pace of the song. Bruford also is a great on this song with many well timed and great sounding fills. The Abingdon Chasp is probably my favorite song on the album along with Hell's Bells. This Holdsworth written tune is just utterly perfect, from the harmonized guitar chords and the superb progression of the musicians, to the great bass/drum interplay between Bruford and Berlin, to the overall stellar riff and atmosphere of the song, it's all there. Forever Until Sundary is a more atmospheric and ethereal piece, with a lot of floating keyboards and a nice keyboard theme as well as some intuitive drumming from Bruford, who can make even the most simple of drumbeats into something amazing. The song quickly picks up in pace and becomes a great guitar driven piece with some great bass work from Berlin underneath the floating and smooth leads from Holdsworth. The Sahara of Snow ends the album is a two part extravaganza. The first of which begins slowly, with a dissonant and eerie organ that changes pace quickly by the stroke of Bruford's sticks as he gives another great drum fill. The piece builds up nicely and never gets too out of hand even during the most trick of situations and never gets boring or contrived, just all out playing for around 9 minutes (that's if you add the two parts together).

In the end, while Feels Good to Me was a good album that had some flaws vocally, One of a Kind is a truly one of a kind album with some incredibly talented musicians playing some great complex and challenging music. There are really no weak tracks on this album and I can't really fault it with anything remotely bad. It's a perfect record, and I am proud to call it my favorite fusion record. Recommended to all fusion fans as well as those who like the power and prowess of Bill Bruford. 5/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#85074) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Upon the the first abdication of the Crimson King, Bill Bruford found himself out of a job and unwilling to return to Yes (probably a wise decision considering how close that band was to hitting the skids). So, he did the only conceivable thing, he formed a jazz fusion group. Bruford's fame allowed him access to some of the greatest jazz musicians the world has ever seen. He recruited Jeff Berlin on bass, Dave Stewart on keys, and the incredible Allan Holdsworth on guitar. Together they forged a fusion classic on par with the Mahavishnu Orchestra's finest work.

Every song on this album brims with energy, and it's refreshing to see a solo artist who doesn't comand the attention. Bruford is a musician first (after, he quit Yes to experiment in KC), and he understands the value of a cohesive unit. Dave Stewart gets as much spotlight as Bill or Allan. In the end, the willingness, even eagerness, to share the spotlight makes this album great. Songs like "Hells Bells" and "Sahara of Snow" are Bruford staples. The crowning achievement of this disc is Fainting in Coils. I gotta hand it to Gatot whose review inspired me to get this album. His favorite track is FiC, and after many listens, I have to agree with him.

This album has nearly no flaws, and any flaws that exist are drowned out by excellence. This album is a standard of fusion and is every bit as important and good as MO's Birds of Fire or The Inner Mounting Flame

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Posted Monday, December 11, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that there are others out there in Progville who enjoy this album as much as I do. When it came out in 1979 most of my friends (early Yes fans included) dismissed it without even giving it a listen even though I assured them that it never got "noisy." But then they didn't appreciate jazz rock-fusion like I did, either. Oh, well. Their loss. Back to the album. It's the only offering we got from this particular lineup of incredible musicians so it is definitely "One of a Kind."

The first cut, "Hell's Bells" (no, not the AC/DC romp) gives the listeners a fine sample of what is in store for us for the next 45 minutes. The lively song is very up front and immediate sounding and takes us through many changes, thereby avoiding becoming tiresome or formulaic. "One of a Kind," more than any other tune, reveals their respectable Return to Forever influence without ever crossing the line into copying them. There is even a xylophone playing along to add some flavor. "Pt. 2" features Bill Bruford's crisp and individualistic angularity on the drums. "Travels with Myself and Someone Else" starts out beautifully with Dave Stewart on piano and some steel guitar from Allan Holdsworth. (Yes, steel guitar on a jazz album!). It's also the first time Jeff Berlin gets to step out front and display his mastery of the fretless bass. The guy is a monster. "Fainting in Coils" is probably the most complex of all the songs with its odd, constantly changing time signatures and exhilarating accents. It travels down some intriguing roads, including one that uses finger snaps for percussion. "Five G" is my favorite because the whole group bristles right along, driving way over the posted speed limit. Berlin and Bruford lay down a hyper funky feel that's tighter than a rusted lug nut while Allan shows off his amazing guitar stylizations. Holdsworth's "The Abington Chasp" is next and it features some great harmony guitar lines and allows Bruford to shine discretely towards the end. "Forever Until Sunday" is a slow, delicate piece that features a soulful violin. It's an unaccredited performance so I don't know if it's a real violin or an excellent keyboard imitation but it lends a gorgeous tone to the song. Like other tunes on this album, it doesn't stay still for long and soon turns up the tempo and introduces a rocking guitar riff before settling down once more. "The Sahara of Snow" has a mysterious, atmospheric beginning that quickly morphs into a busy, industrious urban spirit that once again utilizes the xylophone sound. "Pt. 2" changes to more of a rock walking march and takes us to the final note.

It's worth mentioning that Bill Bruford wrote or co-wrote eight of the ten songs, showing that he is much more than an exceptional stick man. If you like progressive instrumental music that doesn't get itself bogged down in over-long virtuoso posturing then this is for you. I can promise you this. It's never boring or predictable and the musicianship is phenomenal from beginning to end.

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Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars One of a kind indeed, album and musician

Featuring some top notch musicians, this album is more listenable than previous one, with more funky, catchy tunes. One of my fav jazz albums. Again Bruford is a master of drums, not to mention Allan Holdsworth (Gong, Uk,etc), one of the best jazz guitarist, and the rest 2 musicians who colaborate as a whole and resoult a true masterpiece of jazz. This is more fluid, better composed than Feels good to me, so One of a kind is shinig star in jazz history. 5 stars without hesitation, higly recommended for everyone interested in this kind of music, nothing more just listen and enjoy this masterpiece.

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Posted Sunday, June 10, 2007

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Bruford's adventures post UK have for some reasons never enthralled me (even UK is not that exciting to this writer as it sounded way too adult and "professional") , but the least we can say is that his early solo albums never resonated with me. While a real fan of JR/F, I must say that by the late 70's, the genre's cold aloofness, precise (way too much) and prissily playing, ultra-technical but soulless "songwriting" never enthused me. Just to make it clear, while I still find Ponty's classic 70's albums or Brand X's early albums rather enjoyable and still get the occasional nowadays, but Weather Report's post 77 albums or

Anyway, with Bruford's all-star line-up of Holdsworth, Stuart and Berlin, this sounded like the winning combination to make a killer of a record, but to this writer, this is mostly a sleeper of an album as I just can't get into, no matter how loud I played it, and the artwork wasn't helping either. While written before AC DC's track, the opening Hell's Bells pales in comparison. Bear with me for a second here: while there is no match on the musical expertise and virtuoso qualities of the present track, it lacks soul, personality and is anything but captivating. All the same, the two-part title track has little effect on me, also.

One of the most evident flaws being Stewart's choice of keyboards sounds: they are the ones generally en vogue at the time, but compared to previous generations of synths, these here really start sounding "cheap". This coupled with the quartet's aspiration to perfection in terms of virtuosity, renders the whole thing tedious and interesting only to themselves and whoever might be musician enough to want to imitate this virtuosi perfection. On the positive side is the incredible musicianship (yes, the very one I criticize so much) of the four artistes, their ability to play incredibly tight as unit, etc. But I much prefer early Pat Metheny's albums in the genre.

While all four musicians have my utmost respect, and I am a fan of many of their previous works (not so familiar with Jeff Berlin's previous career though), I can't help but thinking that some of the clichés and epithets (musical wankery for ex.) hurled at this kind of albums have solid grounds and will always stick with such albums. Not any better than Feels Good To Me, this album is not exciting or only passably interesting, but certainly no more. I fully understand some of the other JR/F enthusiasts calling this type of album essential, but it simply won't be my case.

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Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Review by 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.

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Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars There's just something different about this album that I can't quite put my finger on. After reading other reviews, I think others have picked up on it too. My opinion is the unique feel to One of a Kind is partly a function of overproduced 80s, and partly a function of the perfectionism of the players. I know this album is listed in the same genre as fusion giants such as Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra, but this is light-years away in sound from their early recordings (except I may hear some Romantic Warrior comparisons). The main reason is that absolutely nothing is out of place on this album--not a note missed, a beat skipped, or an extended note that doesn't have perfect vibrato. You certainly can't say that about early Mahavishnu Orchestra! The result is that One of a Kind has a sanitized feel, which has obviously left some reviewers cold and emotionless.

Of course, even if the overall vibe doesn't tug at your heartstrings, you will enjoy One of a Kind. It really has everything: varied tempos and time signatures, plenty of variety on synths and keys, lots of catchy melodies, and, most importantly, four talented musicians who are on the same page and truly create some killer fusion. After a terrible start (what is that grating, repeated banging noise?), the album gets down to business, and things only get better as the album progresses. My favorite tracks (Five G, Abingdon Chasp, Forever Until Sunday, and the Sahara of Snow) are all on the second side, and packed full of lush synths and oozing Holdsworth guitar.

Rather than focus on the songs, I'll focus on the individual performances (though they really do gel to produce a cohesive sound together). This album motivated me to find some more of Holdsworth's work--he really works the vibrato and eases into notes so seamlessly that his sound is incredibly unique (and enjoyable). Stewart does a great job on keys, striking a nice balance of synths and piano as well as creating some excellent soundscapes (especially on Sahara of Snow). The rhythm section of Bruford and Berlin is so solid that it's very easy to ignore--but when you focus your attention on either, you'll have plenty to keep you interested. I suppose that's the main difference between One of a Kind and the fusion giants: these guys aren't trying to outplay each other, and it's refreshing.

If you like fusion (as I do!), you have to have this album. I will issue a caution: if you are simply looking at this because Bruford is the lead man, you may be disappointed--although his work is certainly solid, it is never at the forefront of the music. However, if you are that big of a Bruford fan, you will also not be surprised at this, because what makes him so talented in my eyes is his ability to always add to the music without ever detracting from what the other players are doing (something that can't be said for the other great drummers: Bonham, Cobham, and Portnoy, to name a few).

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Posted Friday, December 28, 2007

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars This is an album I think is overrated here on Prog Archives. I don't dislike it, but I'm also not very impressed by it. It has indeed high quality musicianship, but Bill Bruford made much better music elsewhere in my opinion. Bill has been a member of Yes, King Crimson, UK and Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and he made far better albums with all of these other bands. The same is, I think, true of Allan Holdsworth who plays the guitars here. In the band UK the two of them worked together with John Wetton and Eddie Jobson and created a great self-titled Prog album. The fact that Wetton and Jobson wrote or co-wrote all the material on UK's debut album proves something - both Bruford and Holdsworth are instrumentalists of the highest degree but they need people like Jon Anderson and John Wetton to compose great music for them to play. I am not saying that One Of A Kind is devoid of melody and interesting musical ideas, though. It is not! It is just that it is not enough to make a whole album interesting throughout its whole running time for me. And towards the middle of the album I feel that it is a bit more of the same. The instrumentation stays basically the same on all the tracks.

The music here is completely instrumental apart from an annoying and ill-advised spoken word section in Fainting In Coils, which is taken from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. A bit like The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles in Jethro Tull's A Passion Play, only a lot shorter (thankfully) - a bit silly and completely out of place in my opinion.

I would also say that even compared with other Jazz-Rock/Fusion albums, One Of A Kind is not at all one of the better ones. I also would not say that it is "one of a kind" - it is a fairly typical Jazz-Rock album to my ears even if it has the unique talents and distinctive sounds of Bruford and Holdsworth. I love Holdsworth's unique guitar sound, but it is better at home in other contexts.

One Of A Kind is enjoyable for me sometimes, but only enough for two and a half stars. This is not the place to start if you want to discover Bill's career, and neither is it the place to start if you want to discover Jazz-Rock in general.

I would recommend this album to people with a special interest in Jazz-Rock/Fusion and to devoted followers of Bill Bruford and/or Allan Holdsworth and the other people involved.

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Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars This is most consistently the best of the Bruford fusion albums. From a prog perspective, this album is heavy prog infused fusion from start to finish. And thankfully, the only vocals are a spoken word section introducing the song "Fainting In Coils".

All four musicians here are at their absolute best. Bruford plays with intricate precision, Berlin just amazes me with his bass magic, Stewart seems to have stepped up his performance, and the incredible Mr. Holdsworth appears to be able to play perfect guitar solos over anything.

The songs here are nearly all hard electric fusion, with swirling time signatures and complex chordal construction. It's is difficult to choose favorites here, because I love so many of them.

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Posted Saturday, May 30, 2009

Review by Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After about ten years or more had passed since this album had been announced, Bill was answered in the interview. "I packed the sound at this time and it started had made music perfect and the idea might have been packed too much" deflecting might have been a useful process for each of the musician's revolutions at the same time as giving birth to the difference of the opinion with Allan and groping for directionality. The Music character of the band is not an exaggeration of evidence to rise further to the album in the age to say that it is one. all of be collected musics

Music that forms this band in shape to Eddie and John that says that "U.K." is a rock band and should put it at this time is believed and Bill and Allan that morale integrated by "U.K." are expressed in natural shape. Various attempt and directionality were achieved in the first album inviting the guest. And, the music character is pursued further and it challenges music high-quality only by four members of the band in this second album. The listener will be able to feel that perfection, the arrangement of the tune, and the entire union have advanced greatly though the music character draws the flow of the first album.

The guitar of Allan is always reformative. However, he also will pursue the original world on the boundary of this album. The work of the keyboard of Dave has already been proven in Canterbury Scene and does certain work with this album. Therefore, the original world where this act can be natural and be done only by these four people including Jeff has extended. It might be a little difficult to put the definition on this music. However, it can be guessed that it is a natural flow , considering the situation of music and the flow and the example that succeeds most in the deriving flow at this time. All tunes contained in this album have actually splendidly shot knowledge, the situation that each musician experienced, and music. They are performing perfectly and naturally as a situation at this time. However, it is guessed that they are proofs that put a simple act but the antenna that always catches the age and achieve it by the reformation and the exchange when thinking about the flow of the music at this time.

If a more perfect sound is made from the first album and each musician is not enthusiastic for making this album, a lot of sounds not achieved are blocked in this work. "The Sahara Of Snow" guessed to be an already completed in the age of "U.K." This tune is one of the representatives in live of them. The tune divides into Part1 and 2 and calls impression from the tension. As for tune "Hell's Bells" of the joint work of Dave and Alan Gowen, the element that Gowen cultivated with Gilgamesh is suitable for the band well by compatibility with Dave and four people are finishing it up in a more perfect tune. A tension and a complex arrangement are splendidly reflected in the album by the tune to which "Fainting In Coils" and "5G" also draw the flow of the first album.

Allan is spoken by the interview, "A lot of repellent work was experienced". However, I will not believe that it was work with Bill. They are still friends. It mutually has the link and Bill contributes the comment on the eulogy to the best album of Allan. And, Bill competes Trio of "Kazumi Watanabe" again in the 80's. Anyway, the highest music that four of these time thinks about is expressed and this album is made to succeed. Their histories are clarified little by little now by the interview. And, their music might already have been a legend momentarily the completion. It might contain the element as which "U.K." is the same. The performance done by four people might be painful in the position in which originality is obviously contained and all genres were exceeded.

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Posted Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is one of those albums that is such a pleasure to listen to. Bruford could almost get whoever he wants to play on his albums because he's so respected, so yes we have an all- star lineup. Besides one of the best drummers i've ever heard Bill has Dave Stewart of HATFIELD AND THE NORTH and NATIONAL HEALTH fame on keyboards. Jeff Berlin an American Jazz bassist who is famous for not only his playing but for turning down a job offer from VAN HALEN. And the great Allan Holdsworth on guitar who's solo career and work with SOFT MACHINE, Tony Williams and others is well known. A more stripped down affair when compared to Bruford's debut, and it seems to work better.

"Hell's Bells" is a song Stewart and the late Alan Gowen wrote together, and thankfully we have the pleasure to hear it on this album. Pulsating synths with bass as Bruford joins in the fun. Holdsworth comes in at 1 1/2 minutes as Stewart backs off, he then returns late. "One Of A Kind Pt 1" opens with drums and keys before vibes then guitar arrive. It settles and blends into "One Of A Kind Pt 2" where it stays calm as drums and other sounds come and go. It's building 1 1/2 minutes in. Guitar after 3 minutes then a big finish. "Travels With Myself-And Someone Else" is pastoral early with piano. The bass before 2 1/2 minutes is prominant. Lots of keyboards in this one. Drums and guitar become more of the focus later. "Fainting In Coils" opens with spoken words before the music kicks in. This sounds really good then it lightens. This contrasts continues. The guitar is excellent. Organ after 3 minutes as it settles. Cool sound (Stewart) after 4 1/2 minutes then it kicks in again. "Five G" has a nice bass intro and I like the drumming too. Check out the guitar after 1 1/2 minutes.

"The Abingdon Chasp" is led by drums, piano and bass early. Guitar before 2 minutes then the tempo picks up. "Forever Until Sunday" is a moving piece because of guest Eddie Jobson's violin playing. A change before 3 minutes as the tempo picks up and it gets fuller. It ends as it began but instead of violin it's guitar. Cool. "The Sahara Of Snow Pt 1" is spacey to open then we get some piano after a minute followed by drums and a full sound. Nice. Vibes too. Bruford is amazing here. Holdsworth's turn 2 1/2 minutes in then it gets spacey again before kicking back in. Great sound. "The Sahara Of Snow Pt 2" has a heavier sound to it with clapping. It works actually then the guitar starts to play over top. I like it. Check out Holdsworth and Bruford here.

A very good Jazz / Fusion album all around.

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Posted Monday, August 17, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I listened this, second, Bruford solo album straight after I finished with his first one.

No Anette Peackock's vocal, no horns, more difficult rhythms and structures - I can see world class fusion at the level of best Return To Forever albums.

OK, starting from here I feel more and more cold in Brufford work, more technics, less emotions. You can feel Bruford's jazz Earthworks there in the sound of "One of A Kind". More formal jazzy acrobatics, but - it's a question of taste , I think.

So, I just can say, that it is technical and musical peak of Bruford solo projects. Just remember - it's fusion, not prog in Yes or KC style at all!

For fusion (RTF type) lovers it is highly recommended album.

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Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars There seemed to be no end to creativity of this band since it didn't take more than a year for a follow-up to Feels Good To Me to be released!

Bruford had learned from the mistakes of the first album and this time went for an all instrumental album, with a slight exception of the narration on Fainting In Coils. The material here is in fact slightly superior compared to the debut but I can't help but think of One Of A Kind as just an improvement to the debut album. The material is better but there isn't really anything new or groundbreaking about this album.

Hell's Bells might not give the same kick-start as the intro of Beelzebub and instead shows us a slightly different take on an album opener that suits the material even better than an up-tempo composition would have done. The intro track is followed by the album-titled composition which, once again, is split into two parts. This track could just as well have been released as coherent piece and the only possible explanation I can think of was that the band did not want to extend a composition's duration to longer than 6,5 minutes. This notion is of course strange since the previous album featured two tracks that were longer than 7 minutes each.

Five G is a flashy bass extravaganza where Jeff Berlin finally gets a shot at the spotlight and shows everything that he is capable of. This is probably also my personal favorite track off this album because I just can't get enough of that lead-melody and all the transformations it undergoes during the performance.

At the end of the day I still consider One Of A Kind just a slightly superior reworking of the debut album which is by no means a bad thing. Maybe it's just my high expectations on a band consisting of Bruford/Berlin/Holdsworth/Stewart to go where no man has gone before that makes it difficult for me to see past some of the album's limitations and awarding it anything higher than a 4-star rating.

**** star songs: Hell's Bells (3:33) Five G (4:46) Forever Until Sundary (5:51)

**** star songs: One Of A Kind, Pt. 1 (2:20) One Of A Kind, Pt. 2 (4:04) Fainting In Coils (6:34) The Abingdon Chasp (4:54) The Sahara Of Snow, Pt. 1 (5:18) The Sahara Of Snow, Pt. 2 (3:25)

*** star songs: Travels With Myself - And Someone Else (6:13)

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Posted Sunday, March 07, 2010

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars Bruford's second album is a typical end 70s release illustrating how fusion mellowed out to harmless background music. The tension and improvisational freedom of the highly productive early 70s have been entirely replaced by overstated Miami Vice-synths, velvety production values and melodies that are so easy on the ears that it becomes annoying.

Annoying to me at least, as this album seems to be massively popular and is considered a masterpiece by everyone, a few lost sheep excepted. There's some flashy musicianship to justify its status but I find this music to be cold, formulaic, devoid of feeling, unexciting and way too radio-friendly. Maybe the popularity comes from the emphasis on melody and synths, or maybe it's just the names on the flipside. Yes, I really wonder if anybody would have bothered with this release if it had been by less popular musicians.

Anyway, if this album brings people to fusion then it serves a good purpose. But on the other hand, this happened to be the album (together with Weather Report's Heavy Weather) that drove me away from it and made me stop listening to fusion for more then 20 years. That's how much I hated what I was hearing, and I still do.

Don't expect anything hinting at the powerful music Bruford created with Yes and Crimson, but if you don't mind mellow and easy-listening jazz, the album is quite a treat apparently. In order to keep any perspective against the stellar music in the jazz-rock section, I really can't give this soft-fusion more then 2 stars. And then I'm still being generous.

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Posted Friday, October 15, 2010

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Bill Bruford - One of a Kind (1979)

Former Yes & King Crimson member Bill Bruford's second album under his own name is a typical fusion album with a modern eighties sound (though released in '79). Whilst under the flag of Bruford, this is actually a record by a super-group consisting of Bruford on drums, Holsworth on guitar (the famous jazz shredder), Stewart on keyboards (the Canterbury legend) and Berlin on bass.

It's kind of funny how my opinion on this album lies exactly between that of Bonnek and Snobb. I also must admit that I think the sound of this album is very non-stylish. The choice of synths is often a bit annoying and the overall recording is a bit too clean. Using xylophones is also something I can't like in any fusion-record. Besides that, this is a highly technical achievement and most of the compositions are quite strong too! Many tracks have strong atmospheres or interesting forms. All musicians shine in their roles, except... Bruford himself. I can't find a single passage in which he leads! The music is dominated by Stewart and Holdsworth.

Conclusion. Don't expect meaningful compositions with relevant titles, don't expect to hear Crimson of Mahavishnu heaviness, but engage on this record if you like the technical or/and symphonic approach to fusion. Perhaps fans of UK will be very enthusiastic too. The music does get exciting, melodic and some guitar solo's of Holdsworth keep impressing me. Three and halve stars. There aren't that many 'progressive fusion' records that stay in my collection for long, but this is one of them.

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Posted Friday, July 08, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Blending the Canterbury-influenced style of Feels Good to Me with the more straight-ahead fusion of the first UK album should have resulted in a dynamite hit. However, One of a Kind is hampered from being better than merely "good" by several factors. First off, Dave Stewart's keyboards - it's not the way he plays them, which is as competent and skilled as ever, but some of the digital synths used sound horribly dated nowadays - even compared to keyboards he played on the first Egg album a decade earlier! Secondly, the production job on the album is smooth, polished, professional and inoffensive - and castrates the album just when it needs to rock the hell out, as on the should-be-foreboding closing track The Sahara of Snow. On balance, not as good as its predecessor.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#561084) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Drifting Toward Muzak

I should love this album. The all-star lineup includes my favorite prog key player, one of my favorite fusion guitarists, and a monster rhythm section. Alas, the date (1979) dominates this record's sound and we are left with a toothless, dated record that shows some hints at what could have been but ultimately disappoints.

In 1979, the aesthetic of music was in full transition mode. Synthesizers were changing to a computer age goofiness, production techniques were getting glossier, reverbs were getting huge. Jazz fusion in general was getting softer, more brainy, and less dangerous. ONE OF A KIND is an enormous victim of these trends. The primary victim is Dave Stewart, whose monster contributions in the Canterbury scene had a distincitve set of tones including a distorted organ sound that was nasty and organic. Here, his tones are so processed and white washed that you can barely tell it's him. Similarly, the drum and bass are occasionally effected into complete cheese. Sadly, this was a trend. Allan Holdsworth's later work is very muzaked and his mind-boggling heir apparent Shawn Lane would play almost exclusively in this defanged sound. Some of jazz's best players like Pat Metheny and Bela Fleck / Victor Wooten have records that are almost unlistenable unless you tolerate 80's elevators.

There is indeed some great playing on this record. The late tracks actually have some menace here and there. There are some nice riffs, and the musicianship is at a very high level. Holdsworth is very comfortable in his element here, maybe too much so. Bruford is solidly slippery as always. Berlin is a madman. Stewarts playing is actually quite nice, when you listen for the note choices and block out the tone.

But the fact is that tone is the first thing that leaves an impression on the listener. The timbre of a singer's voice, the sing of a guitar note. The snap of a snare. And of course the sound of a keyboard. Here it's just unpleasant. As I listen to Stewart's solo on "Travels With Myself..." with it's faux steel drum, I yearn for the nasty Khan organ.

As I'm forcing myself to listen to the album for this review, the playing does come through. But in general, I never make it through the album. The fact is that all of these players have so many examples of great playing elsewhere, in more palatable settings.

Huge disappointment.

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Send comments to Negoba (BETA) | Report this review (#642135) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 27, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars Whenever You feel like cracking a bottle of sparkling wine (Moet Chandon or the one You get at the Supermarket) You'll need this particular CD to make more bubbles. This is an amazing record just to improve your mood. The musicianship is "top-notch", specially in the last three songs, so I gi ... (read more)

Report this review (#470437) | Posted by steelyhead | Sunday, June 26, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Catchy, funky, complex, it is truly one of a kind Yes took a break and each of the members did a solo project. Bill did a mostly instrumental and fully experimental record called Feels Good To Me. It's a very good album, but this one, One Of A Kind, is a great one. The same musicians retur ... (read more)

Report this review (#124908) | Posted by vingaton | Wednesday, June 06, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars By far the best release of Bruford's solo career (pre-Earthworks, that is). You can't beat the band surrounding him - Holdsworth and Berlin are astounding players and their performances never fail to disappoint from beginning to end. Without question one of the best jazz/rock/fusion albums e ... (read more)

Report this review (#118055) | Posted by Disconnect | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is indeed a fusion masterpiece and maybe the highlight if bill bruford's career. What is probably most striking about the collection of such a lineup of improvisational heavyweights is the astounding and breathtakingly beautiful and intricate ensemble work of alan holdsworth, dave stewart, ... (read more)

Report this review (#58070) | Posted by wooty | Saturday, November 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the ultimate jazz rock album. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better than some of the Holdsworth material out there, along comes this album. "One of a kind" is amazing. The drumming is awesome and Holdsworth delivers outstanding guitar. The opening track "Hells Bells" has some co ... (read more)

Report this review (#58060) | Posted by | Saturday, November 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been delighted to hear how well this recording has stood up over time. I thought it was a masterpiece when it was released, and I still regard it as essential listening. I generally prefer Holdsworth playing other people's music, and this is some of the best. This is early rock-fusion with ... (read more)

Report this review (#27902) | Posted by Sir Realist | Tuesday, May 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars More a review of Bill as a drummer than just this album (although this is one of my all time favorites from him). As a drummer myelf, I have to say this guy just doesn't cease to amaze me. His diversity just doesn't stop. He just gets better everytime I see or hear him. When I first heard this ... (read more)

Report this review (#27901) | Posted by marktheshark | Friday, April 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Perfection number two for Sir Bill of Bruford. Same line-up as on Feels Good. Same everything!!! This is a totally killer performance by one of the greatest bands of players the world will likely never see together again...! Get this one and have a blast! ... (read more)

Report this review (#27896) | Posted by | Tuesday, August 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars More even and listenable than Feels Good To Me, this album has nice songs, outstanding production, excellent playing especially from Holdsworth, and is more accessible than Feels Good. If you love analog keyboards, the first track Hells Bells will send you to heaven. ... (read more)

Report this review (#27894) | Posted by | Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Breathtaking, momentous alignment of four outstanding musicians that connects you from that late mournful 70's progressive vacuum, to a timeless sound and precision rarely heard. This masterpiece may be the cleanest, most representative disc of super-fusion you can hear. ... (read more)

Report this review (#27893) | Posted by | Saturday, May 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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