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BILL BRUFORD

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Bill Bruford biography
William Scott Bruford - Born May 17, 1949 (Sevenoaks, Kent, UK)

Pick up just about any of the most successful albums from progressive rock's heyday, flip it over to the credits, and there's a good chance you'll see Bill BRUFORD listed as the drummer. Having played in perhaps more famous prog bands than any other artist, BRUFORD has, at one time or another, kept time for just about every major band in the genre, as well as maintaining a successful solo career.

Beginning his professional career while still in his teens, BRUFORD answered a drummer wanted ad in the Melody Maker and proceeded to join two young men in what he thought was to be 'a vocal group, in the style of The Fifth Dimension'. The two young men were named Chris SQUIRE & Jon ANDERSON, and together they formed the nucleus of what was to become one of the biggest progressive bands of all time, YES. After the worldwide success of their albums "Fragile" & "Close to the Edge", BRUFORD was eager to explore more fertile musical pastures. Leaving a band that was, at that point, poised on the verge of worldwide superstardom was seen by most as misguided at best, insane at worst. BRUFORD, however, felt he had learned all he could from YES, and was looking for a fresh musical environment in which to stretch his wings. He found just such an entity in KING CRIMSON.

After numerous personnel changes over the years, bandleader Robert FRIPP had decided to radically reform KING CRIMSON, and enlisted BRUFORD with the priceless quote "I think you're about ready now, Bill..." For the next two years, BRUFORD and CRIMSON produced some of the most innovative and influential music of the 1970s before FRIPP, in a prescient preemptive response to the growing grandiosity of the genre, once again disbanded the band in 1974. BRUFORD then shifted his time between a variety of projects. In 1977, he joined GENESIS as a touring drummer to allow recently promoted frontman Phil COLLINS to concentrate on vocal duties. The same year, he formed his own eponymous fusion band with Jeff Berlin, Alan HOLDSWORTH, and Dave Stewart. They released a series of fine albums which allowed BRUFORD ample room to explore his love of jazz.

After an aborted attempt at forming a supergroup featuring John WETTON & Rick WAKEMAN, BRUFORD & WETTON then joined forces with Eddie Jobson & Alan HOLDSWORTH to become U.K. The orig...
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BILL BRUFORD discography


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BILL BRUFORD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 241 ratings
Bruford: Feels Good to Me
1978
4.13 | 359 ratings
Bruford: One of a Kind
1979
3.50 | 127 ratings
Bruford: Gradually Going Tornado
1980
3.49 | 47 ratings
Bill Bruford & Ralph Towner & Eddie Gomez: If Summer Had Its Ghosts
1997

BILL BRUFORD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 59 ratings
Bruford: The Bruford Tapes
1979
3.91 | 15 ratings
Bruford & Borstlap: Every Step A Dance, Every Word A Song
2004
3.42 | 32 ratings
Bruford: Rock Goes to College
2007
2.37 | 11 ratings
Bruford & Borstlap: In Two Minds
2007

BILL BRUFORD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.75 | 8 ratings
Bruford - Borstlap / In Concert In Holland
2005
4.30 | 20 ratings
BBC Rock Goes to College: Live 1979
2006

BILL BRUFORD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 37 ratings
Master Strokes: 1978-1985
1986
4.15 | 8 ratings
The Winterfold Collection 1978 - 1986
2009
4.12 | 6 ratings
The Summerfold Collection 1987 - 2008
2009
4.00 | 7 ratings
Bruford: Seems Like A Lifetime Ago
2017

BILL BRUFORD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BILL BRUFORD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bruford: Rock Goes to College by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Live, 2007
3.42 | 32 ratings

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Bruford: Rock Goes to College
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars As a 16-year-old back in 1979, I used to try and see as many episodes of 'Rock Goes To College' as possible, as seeing live gigs on TV was so rare back then. Of course, this was in the days before video recorders so I could only see them when they were aired, but some of the shows made a huge impact on me (I vividly remember both April Wine and AC/DC). What we have here is the first gig by the band of Bill Bruford (drums, percussion), Allan Holdsworth (guitar), Dave Stewart (keyboards), Jeff Berlin (bass) and Annette Peacock (voice), capturing them at the very beginning of their journey. It is also the only time this line-up was ever filmed, and the album has now been reissued as a DVD/CD set.

I only have the audio, but with this line-up I am more than happy enough to sit back and revel in what is taking place in my ears. Holdsworth will rightly always be thought of as one of the most important and innovative guitarists of his generation, many will argue the same for Dave Stewart (Egg, Khan, Hatfield and the North, National Health), Berlin was a well-known session bassist (Patrick Moraz, David Liebman, Patti Austin) and then driving them all was Bill Bruford. (I know it seems like I overlooked Annette Peacock, another incredibly well-known performer, but she only appears on a few songs). Any fan of progressive rock music will already own multiple albums featuring Bill Bruford, such is his importance to the genre, and this recording is an important slice of time, as not long afterwards Holdsworth had departed, and the band itself disbanded after only a few years, with Bruford working again with King Crimson and then moving more into jazz. Each of this quartet can take the lead at any given time yet are also prepared to sit back and support the others. The result is something which sounds very 70's due to the fusion style being used but is also fresh and still exciting all these years later.

Bruford has a real skill in writing parts for others which allows them to shine, and anyone who has yet to read his autobiography really does need to do so as it provides incredible insight into him as musician, composer, and person. This album has been made available a few times previously, and there have been complaints from some that the sound is not as good as it might be, but if that has been an issue in the past then that has now been resolved as this is wonderfully clear for a live recording of this age (it does help that it was recorded by the BBC). It is a great example of Seventies fusion from guys who were bouncing off each other, and that they had been together for such a short period of time is nothing short of incredible.

 Bruford: One of a Kind by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.13 | 359 ratings

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Bruford: One of a Kind
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Forum & Site Admin Group Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

5 stars Bill Bruford returns on this sophomore release of his band "Bruford", this time without any special guests, only his core quartet. But that is all we need here as this time around, the technical jazz/rock sound is amazing and the talents of each of the individuals in the quartet really shines.

I think I'm safe to say that most people here would already know that Bill Bruford came to prominence with his drum work with "Yes" and "U.K." When Burford left "U.K." he spent more time making his own music, and Alan Holdsworth came with him taking half of the original, unique "U.K." band's sound with them. The reason I was originally interested in this album was for that reason. Even though I love U.K.'s "Danger Money", you can tell there is a slight difference in the sound between that album and the self-titled album. In this album, I hoped for a sort-of 3rd U.K. studio album, and because of this, I was initially disappointed. But the more I listened to Bruford's "One of a Kind", the more I loved it until now I consider it right up there with the U.K. albums. There are some tracks where that sound really stands out, however, so I would highly recommend this album to anyone that loves the original U.K. album, just don't expect an exact clone all of the time because even though Holdsworth is also along for the ride, Dave Stewart brings along some of his own keyboard styles that make this album a bit more jazz fusion oriented (that's not a bad thing at all), and mostly unknown bassist (at least at the time of this release) Jeff Berlin would prove that he was just as great as the other more familiar musicians in this quartet. It is Berlin's work with Bruford that would propel him to much more notoriety.

Here is the breakdown of the tracks on the album:

Hell's Bells - Written by Dave Stewart, this one includes a three chord pattern that can be heard during Holdsworth's excellent guitar solo in the middle of the track. That pattern comes from Stewart's colleague Alan Gowen of "National Health". Stewart's synth work is a bit new age-y and might even sound a bit dated, but the tricky rhythm structure here more than makes up for that. Don't worry, though, this one is fairly short and is the weakest on the album. The rest of the album is quite amazing.

One of a Kind, Pt. 1 - This has more of the U.K. vibe on it especially during the Holdsworth solos. Again you get that great complex rhythm and the keyboards and tonal percussion sounds much better on this track, not as dated as the previous track. This ends when the first melodic idea breaks down and?

One of a Kind, Pt. 2 begins with a more improvised sound and turns to a minimal feel with the instruments playing softer and building as the amazing guitar pushes it all forward. Bill's unique way of drumming can make this complex meter sound more straightforward than it is, and that is one of his talents that really stands out here. The tempo takes off again during the last half of this track eventually returning to the original theme for a short time at the end.

Travels with Myself -- And Someone Else - This is a nice, mellow fusion track with the piano and keys taking the lead at first, and then giving way to some amazing bass from Jeff Berlin, who was pretty much unheard of prior to his tenure with "Bruford", but as a result of his performances with this project, came to prominence and built his reputation from this. Again, the meters are ever changing, especially in the middle of the track, and Bruford pumps out his amazing kaleidoscopic drum patterns throughout.

Fainting in Coils - This track has some dramatic readings from Bill (Mock Turtle), Sam Alder (narrator) and Anthea Norman Taylor (Alice) during the first part of the track while the instruments support in a non-typical way. The instrumentals take over and turn this track into a prog-lover's dream. The bass is quite amazing once again and the synths create some really nice passages, but the band and instrumentation is exceptional throughout the track. This is probably the most dynamic and complex of the tracks on the album, and that's saying a lot.

Five G - Co-written by bassist Jeff Berlin, this is the only track on the album where he shares co-writing credit. The track begins with a complex and upbeat sound with Berlin shining through right from the start, but everyone gets to shine in this track as Holdsworth plays like his fingers are on fire, yet Berlin keeps up with him quite admirably. It's tracks like this on the album that prove that Berlin needs to be recognized and you can see why his playing caught everyone's attention.

The Abingdon Chasp - This one is completely written by Holdsworth, the only track giving him writing credit. It's everything you would expect from Holdsworth, complex progressive jazz with his signature sound.

Forever Until Sunday - This track, along with the remainder of the tracks on the album, were all originally meant for U.K., but since Bill Bruford wrote them, he took the songs with him when he left U.K. This track even features the violin part that Eddie Jobson played for the U.K. unreleased version, here re-recorded specifically for this Bruford album. It is a bit more mellow than you would expect considering it was considered for inclusion on U.K.'s 2nd album, but the violin backed by the bass is simply beautiful, with that somewhat enticingly cold and metallic sound that U.K. had. It's a nice slow burner of a track, almost romantic, but with Jobson's signature violin sound. Halfway through, the beat picks up a bit and the synth and bass work together to build tension and intensity with Holdsworth guitar finally churning up the whole thing in the last section of the track.

The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 1 - Again, Bruford originally wrote this for the U.K. sophomore album, but instead used it here. It all starts out cold and expansive, sort of like "Alaska", but with a drone-like quality and interesting effects. A fast and repeating keyboard riff builds up the intensity until the drums kick in and the piano and tonal percussion take things spiraling along like the wind spirals the snow hinted at in the title. As it builds more, it sounds more like something you would have heard on the non-existent U.K. album, and is quite satisfying to those wishing for something more from that short-lived band. Things calm down to almost minimal levels and we move into?.

The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 2 - The piano riff comes back, a bit trickier now and things take off quickly this time. This one was co-written with Eddie Jobson, even though he doesn't appear on the track, yet it definitely feels like a strong U.K. track. Part way through, the track moves to a heavy, mid-tempo rhythm that the piano surprisingly pushes along quite effectively as Holdsworth churns out another amazing solo. This is one that will satisfy those rabid U.K. fans that want more and is worth getting the album for if you haven't completely been convinced yet, that is.

Except for the weaker first track, this is a strong and impressive album that also helps fill the gaps left from the original U.K., but also sets a new style and sound in motion in the progressive fusion world. It doesn't seem that most of the U.K. fans didn't make the transition over to Bruford like both Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth did, but that only means there are a lot of fans out there that would probably be quite surprised by this album, and I think it is definitely worth while for them to check it out. For me, I love this album first on it's own merits, and the fact that a few of the tracks bring back memories of the great U.K. lineup is only the icing on the cake. This is one of those albums that should be recognized much more in prog circles and fusion circles for that matter. This is amazing music!

 Bruford: Feels Good to Me by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.96 | 241 ratings

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Bruford: Feels Good to Me
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 385

As all we know, Bill Bruford is one of the best and most recognizable drummers ever, with his drumming sound inimitable, known for his ringing metal snare drum, crisp cymbal work, and knack for complex time signatures. He really had truly an amazing and brilliant career. He first gained prominence as the original drummer of prog rock band Yes, from 1968 to 1972. After his departure from Yes, Bruford spent the rest of the 70's playing in King Crimson. He was the touring drummer for Genesis during their 1976 "Trick of The Tail" tour. He was one of the founder members of UK. In 1981 he was part of a newly formed King Crimson. In 1989, with some of his ex-band mates of Yes, he formed Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. From 1991 to 1992 he returned to Yes. In 1994 King Crimson re-emerged and he was present.

But, besides all of that, after he left UK due to some overall musical divergences, Bruford formed his own band named, Bruford. So, with his ex-collegue of UK, the guitarist Allan Holdsworth that had been fired from UK by John Wetton and Eddie Jobson, and with two other musicians, Dave Stewart a very well known keyboardist that had played with several bands of the Canterbury scene and Jeff Berlin an American jazz fusion bassist, he released "Feels Good To Me".

"Feels Good To Me" is the debut solo studio album of Bill Bruford and was released in 1978. The line up on the album is Allan Holdsworth (electric guitar), Dave Stewart (keyboards and synthesizers), Jeff Berlin (bass) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Annette Peacock (vocals), John Clark (electric guitar), John Goodsall (rhythm guitar), Kenny Wheeler (flugelhorn) and Neil Murray (bass).

"Feels Good To Me" goes far beyond the usual prog rock conceits of its time, and enters fully into the compositional structures and improvisational dynamics of jazz. With "Feels Good To Me" Bruford proved to be not only a great drummer but an excellent composer as well, as he wrote or co-wrote all of the album's tracks. While Bruford's signature style, a mathematically precise approach that never failed to find the innate groove in even the most complex of time signatures, it was in clear evidence that the album didn't sound like a drummer's solo album. The emphasis was put mostly on composition. It's also clearly evident that the other members of the band had ample room to demonstrate their formidable talents, and above all, there wasn't any drum solo that can be found on this album. Bruford made it clear from the get-go that his role as bandleader was to be that of an equal contributor rather than a dominant voice.

So, "Feels Good To Me" consists of compositions of Bruford, with some support from Stewart. This is quite surprising, as Bruford has not been noticed in any of his previous bands as a composer. The ten songs oscillate between slender jazz rock with intricate lines and a prog with a very bright basic sound. There's no particularly rocking here. This is due to the fact that the guitar is almost only used as a melodic instrument, nor outstandingly bombastic, neither very weird passages. Still, one or other melody line can't necessarily be described as particularly catchy and some exciting chord progressions are built, which usually lead to a guitar solo. Of course, there are many crooked and intricate rhythms, but also straighter spots, and usually more vigorous songs are contrasted with subsequent calmer, more ballade pieces.

Bruford's play is always lean and compositional and lives above all on the differentiated cymbal work and its already legendary bright snare sound. Above all, the moving pieces with often hectic, tattered melody lines of Bruford's work on vibraphone and xylophone, which doubles the lines together with keyboards or guitar, also live here. Stewart mainly uses electric piano and polymoog synths, plus a little piano and organ, but not nearly as much as in his earlier projects. Holdsworth is practically responsible only for melody lines and fast paced, tricky jazzy solos. In the long run they sound a bit alike, but it's great how fluent and clean his sound is. The chord work is essentially in Stewart's hands. In the few places where a bit of rhythm guitar occurs, this takes over John Goodsall, known from Phil Collins' jazz rock project, Brand X. Jeff Berlin's bass work is consistently outstanding and a source of joy. Somehow, the elastic sound, quick fingers, but still enough foundation memories of Jaco Pastorius are awake, and that is saying something, isn't it?

Conclusion: Overall, "Feels Good To Me" is a thoroughly enjoyable, unexpectedly jazzy debut album that is highly recommended to any friend of fluent, prog jazz rock/fusion. The musicianship along with the production is superb. Bruford's cymbal action is quite nice and the excellence of Dave Stewart's keyboards is always a good thing. About the arrangements on this album, we have the predictable late 70's fusion. Annette Peacock's atmospheric vocals make the album especially pleasing. On balance, the album represents an intriguing new musical direction, combining the jazziest parts of the Canterbury scene with the best of other traditions of jazz fusion. If you are in prog rock jazz/fusion, this is certainly an album you should look into. Catch a buzz, sit back, chill out and enjoy some very real cool music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Bruford: Gradually Going Tornado by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.50 | 127 ratings

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Bruford: Gradually Going Tornado
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Squire Jaco

5 stars "Gradually Going Tornado" completed the ascent to great, inventive and clever jazz/rock fusion that Bill Bruford began with "Feels Good To Me" (4-1/2 stars) and "One of a Kind" (4-3/4 stars). Yep, this was the complete album from these guys that I had been looking for. Believe it - this is a masterpiece in its genre.

You can't ignore the unique keyboards from Dave Stewart on this - they are upfront, all over, and feature a "wall of sound" effect more often on this album. "Palewell Park" is soft and beautiful on the piano, but his playing everywhere else is fast, surprising, cool and fun - even "urban"-sounding in spots.

I'm a huge Allan Holdsworth fan, but I think replacement John Clarke is FANTASTIC on this album. (And if you ever listen to the live "Bruford Tapes", you'll hear Clarke nailing Holdsworth's solos with perfection.) Here, he impresses most on "Land's End", "q.e.d." and "Gothic 17".

Fretless bass demigod Jeff Berlin is incredibly inventive and original on this album. His "Joe Frazier" still blows my mind with its combination of speed and virtuosity, while his melodic accompaniment to Stewart's piano on "Palewell Park" is simply sublime. And he sings on four of the songs with a slightly nasal, droll and friendly tenor that's not far from John Wetton or even - I've gotta say it - crooners Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams in places! (Think about it.)

Bruford himself never sounded better than on this album (in my humble opinion). And the songwriting and production is superb; a great mix of soft and ambient atmospheres along with solid grooves, pop hooks and world class soloing from all members.

Do this for me....no, wait - Do this for YOURSELF: Find a comfortable chair, strap on your headphones, put this cd on and close your eyes for 46 minutes. Focus on the BASS, because you'll hear the keys, guitar and drums easily enough. And as the last song fades into the ether, I bet that you'll open your eyes and say, "Whoa, man, that really was one of the BEST albums I've ever heard!" (O.K., maybe you don't talk quite like that, but you get the idea....;-)

It's a great, GREAT album. I speak the truth.

 Bruford: One of a Kind by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.13 | 359 ratings

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Bruford: One of a Kind
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Is it possible for a "smooth jazz" song to feature near-Malmsteenian shredding? The Bruford group, with Allan Holdsworth on the six-string, aims to find out on "One of a Kind, part 1" from their second album, One of a Kind. Turns out it is possible, and they deploy some of that late-1970s/early-1980s smoothness not only on this song, but throughout the LP: wizardly guitar soloing over those standard-issue chord changes played on a synth. Nice enough, but we expect more from Bruford.

Luckily, they give us more. There are three Bruford classics here: "Hells Bells" and each of the two parts of "The Sahara of Snow." And there are two other strong offerings, "Fainting in Coils" and "5G," both of which showcase bassist Jeff Berlin. Much of the other half of One of a Kind is fusion-lite with occasional prog-rock forays.

Although Holdsworth's playing here is rightfully praised, ex-National Health keyboardist Dave Stewart is the keystone on most of the tracks, and at least for One of a Kind, the group could just as fairly be called Stewart.

On the whole, One of a Kind is a good album and a slight improvement over the group's debut, Feels Good to Me (1977). Most of the best songs on these two LPs are also on the 1979 live album The Bruford Tapes, which I'd ordinarily recommend as a starting point for this group. However, while the performances on The Bruford Tapes are great, the sound quality isn't, and at least one track is incomplete.

Meanwhile, the Bruford group's third and final studio album, the relatively rock-oriented Gradually Going Tornado, is their best, but fusion fans will likely find more to like on this album and on Feels Good to Me.

P.S.: One of a Kind is a must for Rototom fans. Having largely abandoned mallet percussion for this album, Bruford relies on a set of Rototoms to lend some tonality to his playing.

 Bruford: The Bruford Tapes by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Live, 1979
3.63 | 59 ratings

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Bruford: The Bruford Tapes
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This 47-minute live recording starts with an emcee's introduction: 'Alright. Live on WLIR-FM - - How 'bout it for a collection of great musicians, Polydor recording artists - - Bruford.' I point this out because he refers to a 'collection...of musicians' and to 'artists,' rather than to a group. So it goes, I guess, with jazz combos named after one of their number.

Synergy is defined as the result of pieces working together to form a system greater than those separate parts, and that's what's documented on The Bruford Tapes. Some of the improvised sections hint that this was recorded during two of the first shows of the tour - - their first with a new guitarist (John Clark) with big shoes to fill. But overall, the band is very tight throughout. As much as I have always admired both Bill Bruford (drums) and Jeff Berlin (bass), I'm most impressed with the work of keyboardist Dave 'not the guy from Eurythmics' Stewart, who moves among several instruments effortlessly.

The best performances here are the opener, 'Hell's Bells,' and the closing number, '5G,' the only track here that rivals its studio version. Too bad it... fades out?

Unfortunately, despite the excellent performances, The Bruford Tapes suffers from inferior sound. Of course these live recordings don't sound as good as the originals (which were recorded by professional engineers at Trident Studios in London). But audio quality of the CD (mine is the undated Editions E.G. release, not the newer Winterfold one) pales in comparison to other late- 1970s/early-1980s soundboard recordings.

But apparently, there weren't many professional recordings of concerts by this group. One is Rock Goes to College,recorded earlier in 1979 with Allan Holdsworth (guitar) and Annette Peacock (vocals), several months prior to the release of One of a Kind. The other I'm aware of is Live at the Venue, a 1980 gig on the Seems Like a Lifetime Ago box set. That concert was in support of Gradually Going Tornado, and featured several vocal songs sung by Berlin. So The Bruford Tapes is about all there is from the One of a Kind tour.

Overall, The Bruford Tapes is a very good album and a good example of the proverbial whole being worth more than its parts. Casual fans might be satisfied with Feels Good to Me and One of a Kind, but for Bruford fans (and many others, I'd guess), the paucity of available alternatives makes this a must-have.

 Bruford: One of a Kind by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.13 | 359 ratings

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Bruford: One of a Kind
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars One of the best Bruford solo outputs, if not the best one, together with "Feels good to me". "One of a kind" proves Bruford's capabilities not only as a drummer but also a band member and composer. Surrounded by strong music characters of Jeff Berlin, Dave Stewart and Allan Holdsworth, this is a team effort that contains more warmth than a usual fusion record. "Hells Bells" is one of the catchiest tracks on the record, driven by a typical Bruford sound and rhythmic pattern. The mini-suite "One of a kind" retains a typical fusion feeling with Holdsworth's guitar, Stewart's synths and an improvisational feeling. It is a brilliant composition where all players stretch out and deliver challenging material for a feast. My favourite part are the final fast-paced 40 seconds which sound like graduation. "Travels with myself and someone else" remind me of National Health. After several less melodic tracks, we have a clear melody in "Fainting in Coils" with excellent keyboard synths. "Five G" is a showcase for the bass player and drummer led by furious face and coloured by gentle synths. Holdsworth kicks in with his ingenious guitar soloing. The final mini-suite comprises 2 parts and feels like unstructured part followed by a more symphonic and modern second part. A highly recommended fusion album with jazz and contemporary influences.

 Bruford: Gradually Going Tornado by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.50 | 127 ratings

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Bruford: Gradually Going Tornado
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Word on the street is that compared to the other two studio albums by this group, Bill Bruford's drumming on this LP is uncharacteristically straightforward. It's also been said that Jeff Berlin's singing is pedestrian. I can confirm that both of these are true, and that as a result, Gradually Going Tornado is quite different from Feels Good to Me and One of a Kind. Combine all of this with the loss of guitar virtuoso Allan Holdsworth, and it's probably a surprise that this album is the best of the three produced by this group.

I think the key to the success of Gradually Going Tornado are the ensemble arrangements, led by Dave Stewart's often eccentric keyboard parts and Jeff Berlin's manic basslines. As others have pointed out, Bruford's drumming is closer to traditional rock than to the inventive, oddly-accented playing he delivered on Fragile or Earthworks. The result, while still arguably classifiable as 'Jazz-rock/Fusion,' is less improvisational, and maybe more symphonic, than the group's other two studio efforts. Somehow, the generally unremarkable vocals don't detract from the proceedings, as they might have on a jazzier album. (Since I mention the other instrumentalists here, I'll add that Holdsworth's replacement on guitar, John Clark, is quite up to the task.)

The highlights are the vocal tracks 'Age of Information,' 'Plans for J.D,' and 'Gothic 17,' and Berlin's instrumental 'Joe Frazier.'

 Bruford: One of a Kind by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.13 | 359 ratings

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Bruford: One of a Kind
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nš 230

Bill Bruford is one of the most famous and recognized drummers of the world and he was one of the founder members of Yes, a member of King Crimson and a founder member of U.K. Beyond that, he participated in several musical projects and performed live with Genesis, he returned to King Crimson and Yes, performed with his ex- colleagues of Yes, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe and Patrick Moraz, and also with the American band Pavlov's Dog. These are only some of his most important musical contributions to our loved universe of the progressive rock music.

So, Bruford was, undoubtedly, one of the founders of the progressive rock music and he bought new ideas to it, with rock, jazz and orchestral techniques. According to Digital Dream Door, Bruford is the seventh greatest rock drummer of all time. Bruford is also considered as one of the most influential drummers ever existed and his technique and influence are considered at the same level such as Neil Pearl of Rush, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Keith Moon of The Who, Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Ian Paice of Deep Purple, or in our days, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater.

'One Of A Kind' is the second solo studio album of Bill Bruford and was released in 1979. This album was released one year later, after Bill Bruford having participated in the release of U.K., the eponymous debut studio album of U.K., the super-group he helped to form with three other great progressive rock musicians, the guitarist Allan Holdsworth, the keyboardist and violinist Eddie Jobson and the bassist and vocalist John Wetton.

So, the line up of the album is Bill Bruford (drums and percussion), Allan Holdsworth (electric guitar), Dave Stewart (keyboards and synthesizers) and Jeff Berlin (bass).

Some of the material recorded on this album, despite never was been released on any studio album of U.K., was originally performed live in the 1978 live tour of U.K. It happens with the track 'Forever Until Sunday', which features an unaccredited Jobson work on violin, and with the ninth and tenth tracks 'The Sahara Of The Snow, Pt 1 and 2'. By the other hand, the track 'Hell's Bells' used a fragment of a song original composed by the former and original colleague of Stewart, Alan Gowen, when both were members of the Canterbury scene band, founded in 1975, National Health.

By the time when 'One Of A Kind' was recorded, two years later, the core group from 'Feels Good To Me' has became even more focused. Bruford restricted himself to the drum kit, likely in an effort to create a recording that could be more easily reproduced when performed live. Gone too, were the vocals and added trumpet, further indications that Bruford was looking at the group as a viable touring entity. Since Stewart has gone from National Health and Holdsworth was back from the time spent in the U.S.A. with Tony Williams, it seemed as though that everything was lining up.

The same characteristics founded on his debut studio album 'Feels Good To Me' are evident on 'One Of A Kind', with everyone demonstrating palpable growth. Holdsworth's style, as distinctive as it is, would ultimately evolve into something more abstract that would, in some ways, alienate some of his core audience. But at this point he is still eminently approachable, equally capable of relaxed and flowing lines as he is able of rapid-fire exchanges. Jeff Berlin finds the comfortable middle-ground, with a formidable technique that never seems on display for the sake of it. Stewart continues to avoid the trappings of his contemporaries like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, with a conception that is clearly broader than both and an interest in the ensemble that demonstrates a kind of a refreshing lack of his ego.

The compositions on 'One Of A Kind' are even more episodic than those on 'Feels Good To Me', and in many ways, more challenging. And yet, despite a landscape of constantly shifting meters and tempi, the magic of 'One Of A Kind' is that it remains a compelling and an accessible work, despite its complexity. The irregular meters are so comfortably executed and in-the-pocket that unless one is paying attention, nobody doesn't really notice all that all. The solos flow organically throughout the long form compositions, integrated in ways that makes them feel a part of the larger whole even though, in performance, it would become clear just of how of much freedom was being afforded to all.

Conclusion: 'One Of A Kind' is a collection of progressive rock songs with a jazz exploration, which latter would be defined as jazz/rock fusion. This is an excellent album with twists and turns around its music, punctuated by Bruford's steadying and slightly subversive rhythms, Holdsworth's flashes of fire, Berlin's insistent line bass and Stewart's remarkably colourful keyboard work. 'One Of A Kind' is an album I bought some years ago and I always considered it an excellent album. It's commonly accepted that it's his best solo work and that it's also one of the best albums of the jazz/rock fusion. This is an album with the same quality of the best albums of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Brand X, Jean-Luc Ponty, Santana, Billy Cobham, Al Di Meola, Miles Davies, Return To Forever and Weather Report.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Bruford: Feels Good to Me by BRUFORD, BILL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.96 | 241 ratings

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Bruford: Feels Good to Me
Bill Bruford Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by macpurity

5 stars This recording was released 40 years ago! It will soon have a new remastered release later this year as a 6CD, 2DVD box set. So, it seems only fitting that another review be added to honor this rather phenomenal piece of jazz-rock art. If anything, to alert other Bruford fans that new mixes and remasters are on the way. The boxed set will feature this recording, One Of A Kind, The Bruford Tapes and Gradually Going Tornado, along with some other select special additions. It cna be found through a web search and/or a visit to a web site having to do with a scorched outbuilding.

Previous reviews truly hit all the marks, even the not so glowing ones. I can relate to some of the misgivings, but as a whole, the compositions are about as complex as permitted in music theory textbooks. Bruford and company push the envelope in terms of rhythms and compositions.

Bruford's percussion is (ahem) flawless, The late Allan Holdsworth's guitar work is still fun to listen to, including those on-purpose notes that almost sound like errors. No such thing in Allan's delivery. The bass of Jeff Berlin is tight, on the money, and possesses phrasing that rank among the best bassists. Absolutely love Dave Stewart's keyboards and synth sounds. He's a master; as can also be appreciated in his work with Barbara Gaskin. Annette Peacock's vocals do take some adapting to, but once you gain familiarity with the music, you appreciate her style, range and presence. Then throw in Kenny Wheeler's flugelhorn for good measure and some smoothness (especially on Seems Like A Lifetime Ago Part I). With co-production by Robin Lumley, it is a conglomeration of shear mastery.

I bought this one, the first time, brand new, without any in-store listening, in 1977 on vinyl. On forst listen, it knocked my socks off. I played that album a lot through the years and nearly wore it out. Thankfully, I re-purchased it on CD 13 years later, in 1990, and once again enjoyed clear digital sound. This coming October (2017), I look forward to becoming re-familiar with this recording (and others in the box-set), some in the delights of 5.1 DTS surround. So glad that Bill Bruford encouraged a 2017 re-engineering of some representative jazz rock from forty years ago. Seems Like a Lifetime Ago! Indeed!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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