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Bill Bruford

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Bill Bruford Bill Bruford & Ralph Towner & Eddie Gomez: If Summer Had Its Ghosts album cover
3.49 | 51 ratings | 5 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. If Summer Had Its Ghosts (6:20)
2. Never The Same Way Once (5:04)
3. Forgiveness (5:15)
4. Somersaults (3:27)
5. Thistledown (4:11)
6. The Ballad Of Vilcabamba (5:00)
7. Amethyst (for Carmen) (4:18)
8. Splendour Among Shadows (4:52)
9. Some Other Time (3:01)
10. Silent Pool (3:35)
11. Now Is The Next Time (4:03)

Total Time: 49:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Ralph Towner / classical & 12-string guitars, piano, electronic keyboards
- Eddie Gomez / bass
- Bill Bruford / drums, percussion, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Dave Coppenhall

CD Discipline Global Mobile ‎- DGM9705 (1997, UK)

Thanks to Eetu Pellonpää for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BILL BRUFORD Bill Bruford & Ralph Towner & Eddie Gomez: If Summer Had Its Ghosts Music

BILL BRUFORD Bill Bruford & Ralph Towner & Eddie Gomez: If Summer Had Its Ghosts ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BILL BRUFORD Bill Bruford & Ralph Towner & Eddie Gomez: If Summer Had Its Ghosts reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
3 stars Quite a departure from his progressive and fusion efforts, this is a low-key, atmospheric album that would fit in nicely with most of the recordings on the ECM Records label. And, in fact, the other musicians involved have ties to that label. Ralph Towner comes across as the star performer here, playing guitars and keyboards, but Bruford composed most of the music. To the untrained ear, this sounds like jazz-tinged New Age music. Personally, I've always felt that the music released on the ECM label should be taken more seriously than 99% of so-called New Age music, and the same holds for this album. You won't hear simple, repetitious "wallpaper music", but you won't hear Bruford playing any complex, powerful rhythms in constantly-shifting time signatures, either. Surprisingly enough, I found this album in a pawn shop priced at about $5.00, mixed in with all the usual hip-hop, country and metal albums. It's on Robert Fripp's label, and must have been part of a small pressing, since I've never seen it in any record shops.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I think Bill shows real talent and sense of style by teaming up with the classic ECM artists' Ralph Towner (classical guitar and keyboard player also known from group Oregon) and bass player Eddie Gomes. This string duo recorded with Jack DeJohnette classic jazz album "Batik", and Bill is in my opinion with similar professional level with the mentioned master drummer. On this album the emphasis focuses towards more tender and melodic playing with drums, and I believe this scenario was elevating after the mekChanikC aural terrorism deeds of the 1990's double trio sessions. The acoustic aesthetics are also different when compared to the third stream oriented "Batik", "If Summer Had Its Ghosts" is more romantic neo-classic voyage to the realm of tender melodic and intelligent drum rhythms, caressed by the acoustic strings of Ralph and Eddie. The few occasional digital samples melt to this non-amplified tonal tapestry perfectly due their realistic sonic appearance. My ultimate favorites here are the slow "Amethyst (for Carmen)" and tender "Forgiveness", but I don't' think there are weak links on the song selection. The careful theme variations of "Never The Same Way Once" was also on the forthcoming Bill Bruford's Earthworks repertoire, and with the drum solo of "Some Other Time" a tribute is being paid for a musical innovator. My own adoration for this album is emphasized by its personal meaning for my listening habits; I got deeply immersed in classic jazz music when listening to this after seeing some DeJohnette, Hancock, Holland, Metheny activity from 1990 Mellon Jazz Festival. Similarly I found Bill's jazz solo works after his King Crimson career, and discovered the serene musical world of Ralph Towner along with other ECM artists, what a revelation.
Review by fuxi

Ralph Towner is one of the stars of the ECM label (all his solo albums are marvels), and undoubtedly the greatest jazz guitarist who refuses to use electric instruments. He has collaborated several times with double-bass virtuoso Eddie Gomez, but it came as a total surprise when, in 1997, he agreed to work with Bill Bruford, on a disc which features mainly Bruford compositions.

Apart from classical guitar and twelve-string, Towner also plays piano and electronic keyboards. Thanks to overdubbing, you sometimes get the impression this is not a trio performing, but a quartet.

The first two pieces on IF SUMMER HAD ITS GHOSTS sound fine, but slightly severe, perhaps a shade too "neo-classical". The listener may wonder when the music will really take off. The third piece, "Forgiveness", however, is a ballad with some charming classical guitar in it, and on the fourth, "Somersaults", Towner's jazzy playing finally breaks loose. After that, things just keep getting better. "Thistledown" is a delightful tune, one of the most melodious Bruford has written, with catchy lead piano by Towner. "Amethyst" is yet another passionate ballad, with great guitar backed by gentle keyboard washes. On "Splendour among shadows" Bruford produces a chime-like pattern on electronic percussion, which gives guitar, drums and bass ample opportunity to execute solos on top. Up until this point, Bruford's playing has remained strikingly modest and unobtrusive, but the next piece ("Some other time") is a first-rate three-minute (acoustic) drum solo, and on "Silent pool" Bill uses electronics to play a gamelan-like pattern, which Eddie Gomez then uses for some expert soloing. "Now is the next time" is based on a slightly awkward fanfare-like riff, played on electronic keyboard, but it encourages truly exciting soloing, by all three members of this once-only band.

Bruford, Towner and Gomez fans will need no encouraging: all of them will find this album essential. For progressive rock fans who are curious about Bill Bruford's jazzy side (NOT his 'fusion' side, which has recently been dormant), this album would be an excellent start. Three and a half stars.

Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars The existence of King Crimson will have been an exactly special band for Bill Bruford. After he participated in King Crimson, zeal and the action on his music changed and, of course, revolutionized shape by competing with various bands. In it, it is a well-known fact to have always exerted a large influence for other musicians.

At first, Bill Bruford had details that had not been elected as a drummer for the activity of King Crimson in the 90's. It is said that he had feelings of despair for this event. However, it became a situation in which the recurrence of music to which he was related to Yes and King Crimson in the 90's and he had to have eyes w originally and the starting point was reconfirmed. The directionality of King Crimson that rushed into in the 90's became the result of showing the difference of directionality of music and existence as Bill Bruford for Bill Bruford and the flow divided both surely.

The flow and the idea of this album might have had the part of good priming and the chemical reaction as one of the elements that "Earthworks" that one of the parts where his own music character was formed included starts in full scale in 1998. Russell Summers that proposed the idea of this album as a part to the details and might have reconfirmed happiness of Music Bill Bruford.

Because the appointment of Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez with flexibility to be able to answer an original music character of Bill Bruford enough acts on this album well, too I will feel the necessity. The music that this Trio is exactly kept the even ground and created freely might function as one of the not simple Jazz/Fusion but complete sets. I will feel inevitability as music that this Trio exactly produces a transparent feeling and at ease extend to the whole volume.

"If Summer Had Its Ghosts" A transparent feeling that extends from the theme of the rhythm of 5-5-6 is impressive. The piano and the guitar of Ralph Towner freely performed continue the flow with a transparent feeling always. The drum in close relation to the line of Bass sounds gently. The originality of Trio not related in the form of standard Jazz has gone out.

In "Never The Same Way Once", the theme with the anacatesthesia that puts fast and slow is a feature. This tune is performed as one of the repertoires of the following Earthworks. The atmosphere of very good Jazz is developed. Solo of Bass in close relation to the progress of Chord with the feature also expands the width of the tune. The piano and the drum also freely create music.

The credit of "Forgiveness" is "Bruford/Ballamy/Bates". It might have been an idea that had already been completed as a tune for Earthworks. It puts on the melody of a beautiful guitar and the piano twines well. The anacatesthesia that keeps quiet progress and is performed will offer the listener originality and the technology of Trio.

"Somersaults" The sound of the guitar that there is a transparent feeling in the rhythm with the element of Latin twines. The progress of Solo of original Bass that is and a steady rhythm also improves the impression of the tune well.

As for "Thistledown", the rhythm to make good use of the electronic percussion twines round the melody of the guitar with a beautiful piano. And, ensemble of Trio gradually raises the quality of the tune. An acoustic part is reflected in the tune well and a transparent feeling is continued.

As for "The Ballad Of Vilcabamba", the sound that looks like the flute twines round the rhythm of the samba. The element of Ralph Towner cultivated by "Oregon" might be reflected in the tune.

"Amethyst" keeps an arpeggio of a beautiful guitar good, transparent feeling. The element with a good guitar ..ballade that went out.. has finished. Ensemble also splendidly contributes to the tune.

"Splendour Among Shadows" is from a loop of bell to the tune that a complex melody crosses with the rhythm. It might be a tune that the ability of this Trio is exactly demonstrated enough. It might be a privilege of this Trio that can perform such a tune.

"Some Other Time" is drum Solo played based on the performance of Joe Morello of the drum player whom Bill Bruford always holds in high esteem. It is finished ..Solo that he cultivates till then in addition to the part of Jazz that Bill Bruford interprets and coming technology and methodology are demonstrated satisfactorily... The individuality of Bill Bruford is exactly expressed in this Solo.

As for "Silent Pool", heavy atmosphere twines round the rhythm to make good use of the electronic percussion. The tension is continued with Bass. It might be a tune with a progressive side of this Trio. The performance of Bass that uses the bow also decides the impression of the tune.

"Now Is The Next Time" is a tune of which the color of Jazz/Fusion went out strongly in the tune of this album. The melody that unifies a transparent feeling and the anacatesthesia to the rhythm of the rhythm of steady eight feature. It has the part where Ad-Rib of the guitar also indeed has a transparent feeling. Solo of the drum that multiuses Polyrhythm is a German platform place of Bill Bruford in complete.

A good chemical reaction of this album is remarkably expressed as a part of the music character that this Trio exactly weaves. The atmosphere of Trio free, good performance might be transmitted to the listener.

Review by admireArt
3 stars Bill Bruford's taste for "classic" Jazz, has never been a secret. He is more in feel with this kind of styling and has brought its best rhythm elements to some of the top progressive bands of this Prog world . Ralph Towner has developed his unique guitar performing skills since a while (founding member of the avant garde, Jazz/Fusion oriented band Oregon). He can actually function in any musical environment, as long as he is given the creative freedom he requires to fly his own way and yet be there for the others. In this work he also supplies all the piano work and balances both instruments in a delicious display of restraint and low key "flash". Eddie Gomez's bass performance is responsible most of the time of keeping everything into perspective and also provides most of the "classic" elements, Bruford so dearly enjoys.

Although its closeness to old time Jazz, Towner's abilities brings it near to more contemporary avant garde structures, yet the feeling in general remains timeless.

Crystal clear compositions without any kind of useless "glitter", but the amazing and disciplined performances by each member of this "Jazz/Fusion Trio".

***3.5 PA stars.

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