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Jack Bruce

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Jack Bruce Things We Like album cover
2.94 | 32 ratings | 2 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Over The Cliff (2:56)
2. Statues (7:35)
3. Sam Enchanted Dick (7:28)
a. Sam Sack
b. Rill's Thrills
4. Born To Be Blue (4:26)
5. HCKHH Blues (8:59)
6. Ballad For Arthur (7:42)
7. Things We Like (3:38)
8. Aging (5:20)

Total Time 48:04

Line-up / Musicians

- Jack Bruce / double bass, session leader
- Dick Heckstall-Smith / soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
- Jon Hiseman / drums
- John McLaughlin / guitar

Releases information

Release Date 1970 (U.K.), 1971 (U.S.) Originally recorded in 1968.

Thanks to mrcozdude for the addition
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JACK BRUCE Things We Like ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JACK BRUCE Things We Like reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Things We Like? Things I like, too.

First and foremost, be warned. This is a jazz album. There is no prog, or even rock, whatsoever on this album. Jack Bruce does not play a single note on his electric bass on this album. If you do not like pure be-bop, read no further.

What an unexperted twist from Jack Bruce on his second solo endeavor. A completely straight jazz album. And you know what? It's a very good jazz album. Bruce, it turns out, could have done just fine as an acoustic jazz bass player. And the band he has assembled here is first rate.

The majority of the songs here are primarily drums/bass/sax. John McLaughlin tends to lay back for the most part. But the drums, bass and sax are all so good, you hardly notice the lack of guitar most of the time, anyway.

For a jazz album, I'd rate it four stars, but no prog, it gets only 3 here.

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars Under that typical jazzy album title, you'll the ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce's second solo album. If you think that JB and jazz don't really mix, you're in a for a bit of a surprise, as Jack first came to prominence with Graham Bond's ORGANization, and JB and GB (Ginger) used to joke the Cream was a jazz band, and that they never told Clapton so. More than the Cream connection, here, we're getting the Colosseum (Heckstall-Smith and Hiseman replaced JB and GB in Bond's band) and we're heavily in a standard jazz affair ? which might be very strange, since JB was also involved with McL in Tony Williams' Lifetime, which was much more "fusiony". Actually, TWL was recorded prior to JB's first official solo album, but the present is indeed his first try (recorded in Aug 68)? but only found release almost two years afterwards.

So, the quartet's line-up might have hinted you as an all-star JR/F group, but we're quite distant from that realm. Six of the seven tracks are Bruce composition (he plays only stand-up bass on TWL), and the lone medley Sam Enchanted Dick (sic?) is more or less in the same sonic template of the rest of the album. Indeed, we're dealing with a fairly competent late-50's or early-60's boppy jazz that will raise your eyebrows, mostly because that's about the last thing you'd expect from these dudes. Were they out to prove something to the old-guard of jazzers? Maybe so, but personally, I find that, outside McL and to a lesser extent DHS, this is the kind of stuff that lacks a certain credibility from the "rock-related" crowds. Don't expect much of McL's fiery guitar histrionics (he does get the odd spot here and there, but nothing of the sort of Devotion or Mahavishnu), because he's relatively low-key. DHS' gets more sunshine, but it's clearly JB's show ? and to that same extent, drummer Hiseman gets to pull his wild cards out on the table. You'll find the odd inspiration in JB's jazz writing. The more modern-sounding track of the album? HCKHH Blues, without a doubt.

So, if not familiar with TWL, I'd strongly suggest that you lend an earshot (not even very attentive) before investing in the album, because the line-up (written out on the front cover) can (and will) induce into error. Is it a good standard jazz album?? Maybe so, but given the déjà-entendu sonics (save McL's electric interventions), it certainly sounds like a waste of talent at the time? I'd have loved to hear these guys let it all hang out in the wild JF/F affair.

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