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Bill Bruford

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Bill Bruford Bruford: One of a Kind album cover
4.15 | 369 ratings | 42 reviews | 40% 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 Sunday (5:51)
9. The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 1 (5:18)
10. The Sahara of Snow, Pt. 2 (3:24)

Total Time 46:56

Bonus track on Winterfold remaster (2005):
11. Manacles (live) (7:50)

Line-up / Musicians

- Allan Holdsworth / guitar (1-10)
- Dave Stewart / keyboards & synths
- Jeff Berlin / bass
- Bill Bruford / acoustic & electronic drums, percussion, voice of "The Mock Turtle" (5)

- Sam Alder / voice of "Narrator" (5)
- Anthea Norman-Taylor / voice of "Alice" (5)
- Eddie Jobson / violin (8) - originally uncredited
- John Clark / guitar (11)

Releases information

ArtWork: Alwyn Clayden (Art & Design) with John Shaw (photo)

LP Polydor - POLD 5020 (1979, UK)

CD Virgin Japan - VJD-28052 (1988, Japan)
CD Winterfold Records BBWF004CD (2005, UK) Remastered by John Burns w/ 1 bonus track recorded Live at Lupo's, Providence, USA (17.7.79)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy BILL BRUFORD Bruford: One of a Kind Music

BILL BRUFORD Bruford: One of a Kind ratings distribution

(369 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BILL BRUFORD Bruford: One of a Kind reviews

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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.
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!
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.

Review by belz
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.

Review by fuxi
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).

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

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.

Review by 1800iareyay
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

Review by Chicapah
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.

Review by b_olariu
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.

Review by Sean Trane
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.

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.

Review by Flucktrot
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).

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars One of its kind

One Of A Kind was the second album released under the name Bruford and it is a definite improvement over the debut Feels Good To Me. Admittedly I didn't always rate this album as highly as I do now, but it has grown on me over the years since I first heard it. The leader of Bruford is of course Bill Bruford, drummer of Yes, King Crimson, UK, and several other well-known bands (even including a brief stint with Genesis!). In UK, Bill worked with the inimitable guitarist Allan Holdsworth who also appears here to great effect. The music found on One Of A Kind is nonetheless not all that similar to that of UK as this is much more of a Jazz-Rock/Fusion album. Even so I'm often reminded of Emerson, Lake & Palmer when hearing this album. Keyboards are handled by Dave Stewart and bass guitar by Jeff Berlin. There are no vocals on the album except some out-of-place, annoying spoken word passages on Fainting In Coils, which is taken from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. This silly piece plays the role of Benny The Bouncer or Are You Ready Eddy from ELP's albums or perhaps The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles from Jethro Tull's A Passion Play.

Even if Bill Bruford contributed to better music elsewhere - and there is nothing here that compares with Yes' Close To The Edge or King Crimson's Starless, or even UK's In The Dead Of Night - One Of A Kind is still a very worthy addition to a progressive Rock collection, especially if you are into the jazzier side of the spectrum.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury 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.

Review by Kazuhiro
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.

Review by Mellotron Storm
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.

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.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Bill Bruford's continued excursion into the burgeoning and exciting world of electrified percussion using a jazzier prog medium--and a band of incredibly technically accomplished musicians. You would be hard-pressed to put together a band of more proficient instrumentalists than bassist Jeff BERLIN, keyboard wizard Dave STEWART, guitar genius Allan HOLDSWORTH and, of course, drummer unparalleled, Bill Bruford. Gone is mysterious chanteuse Annette PEACOCK (whose talents I actually love) and gone, too, are any attempts at songs with vocals. This is an experimental jazz fusion album. Accordingly, it takes the listener some time to become familiar and friendly to the sometimes obtuse or oblique sounds and styles of the music and musicians. But, if you put in the effort, I think that you will find this album well worth it.

"The Sahara of Snow, Parts 1 & 2" Is probably one of my ten favorite prog songs of all-time--and definitely the best Allan Holdworth soloing ever.

Review by friso
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.

Review by Warthur
4 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! This is particularly prominent on the opening track; dig deeper and you will find better synthesiser textures hidden beneath.

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, though still worth it if you are a fan of the musicians involved.

Review by Negoba
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.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars I love Bill Bruford's playing with Yes and I heard some great stuff with King Crimson. Furthermore, I enjoy hearing him speak on music documentaries. I read his autobiography and he cited "One of a Kind" as a favourite album, along with King Crimson's "Red" which I also like. Then in Stephen Lambe's book, "Citizens of Hope and Glory: the Story of Progressive Rock," the album is mentioned as one of 65 albums worthy of hearing. My curiosity piqued, I ordered the album earlier this year.

The album opens with a quick steady beat on what sounds like an early electronic drum or a large sheet of thick plastic and is presently joined by a jolly synthesizer rhythm that made me think, "Oh, good gravy, no! Not another Cozy Powell!"

Several years ago, I bought "Over the Top", an album by Cozy Powell that featured Don Airey, Gary Moore, and possibly a guest appearance by Jeff Beck if I recall correctly. I had high expectations but the album was almost embarrassing to play. Most of the music was written by Airey (who I think is a remarkable player) and was almost like supermarket muzak in sound with added classical and jazz references. Blame the synthesizer sound. I might have played the album through twice before finally selling it and deleting it entirely from my iTunes library.

Fortunately for Bruford and me, the music of this track does become less embarrassing and more enjoyable, though for a piece of music with a title like "Hells Bells" I would have expected something less like a pop song treated to muzak and then mixed with jazz.

The rest of the album sounds better most of the time. The main problem I have here is that jazz / rock is not something I have added to my music collection prior (except for Dixie Dregs) so I have a hard time loving the tunes as much as someone with a developed lexicon in Canterbury and other forms of jazz fusion rock. "One of Kind" has a tendency for each track to sound a little similar to the others. Of course they are all distinct. The first 30 seconds of each track will tell you that. But there's a kind of formula that insists that each track have some drama somewhere, some melody somewhere, some slower lounge jazz parts, and some flash solos. Just hit shuffle.

Bruford doesn't try to show off as he did when he was younger. Instead he chooses safe 4/4 beats much of the time and adds in fills when required. The times his playing perks up my ears is usually a well-timed and effective drum fill as the music transfers from one part to another. In his autobiography, however, he said that he was happy to write music and work it over with talented musicians and let them create the fabulous music out of his offering. I would say that he has achieved that here.

Allan Holdsworth is of course a wizard during his solos. His technique clearly must have inspired many young guitarists who would contribute to the sound of the rock guitar in hair metal bands in the 80's. There is again a kind of sameness at that crops up at times. Holdsworth will play a few melodic notes and then do a quick run of fingers over the fret board on many of the tracks. "Five G" features some fuzz tone playing that is a nice variation on the album. Basically, I'm left with the impression that Holdsworth can do amazing things with the guitar but repeats himself frequently.

Dave Stewart uses a variety of sounds from his polysynthesizers, some of them more effective and pleasing than others. "One of a Kind" part one employs a keyboard setting that sounds really dated. I can't imagine how they thought this sound was a good one. "Byown, byown" go the keyboards. "Hey, great sound. Let's use it on the album." His choice for sound setting in "Travels with Myself - And Someone Else" includes what must have been labelled as "flute" or "clarinet" but like so many early and also cheaper synthesizers these days too, it doesn't really sound like what it is supposed to sound like. All the same, Stewart makes it work here. "The Abingdon Chasp" includes some pleasant lounge jazz piano as well in parts.

Jeff Berlin deserves mention as the guy cannot be allowed to play just an ordinary bass line on any track that I noticed. His genius as a bass player really shows through even when he's just playing the bass behind the soloists. He also gets a cool bass intro on "Five G" and a frenetic solo elsewhere.

Though there are a few tracks that have moments that sound great to my ears, the composition to win it for me is "Fainting in Coils". It has a dark beginning and some terrific jazzy keyboards. Parts are light and simple, others darker and suspenseful. This track treads over a few different terrains and serves as a great summary of the album while holding enough excitement to stand out as the pick of the litter. Everyone really lays into it for the conclusion. Aside from this track, there are excellent parts to crop up throughout the album and tracks like "The Sahara of Snow" parts one and two and "Five G" are also very good examples of this band's abilities.

Though the music may sound a little repetitive at times and I am quite the novice at this point, I still think the playing is superior. I personally can't quite feel obliged to give it four stars because I find it hard to consider this as an excellent addition to just any prog collection as there are surely people like me who can't quite be so thrilled about the jazz element. On the other hand, if you love jazz fusion, jazz, or Canterbury then this might just be not only an excellent addition but an essential one. So take note that my three stars are for my taste personally and I fully recommend this album to anyone more inclined to appreciate it.

Review by stefro
4 stars A much-admired yet occasionally criticized slice of progressive jazz-fusion, the second album from Bill Bruford's group picks up pretty much where debut predecessor 'Feels Good To Me' left off. Featuring crisp production values, a synthesizer-heavy sound and some dazzling technical play, 'One Of A Kind', despite its general excellence, seems to be a true marmite album. The reason? The era of its creation. Issued in the post-punk days 1979, 'One Of A Kind' came pretty late-in-the-day for a jazz fusion album, and at a time when many progressive-minded groups were going through a period of rapid change. Stylistically at least, this didn't seem to affect Bruford, yet the technology and production techniques of 1979 had moved on considerably since the days of 'Third' and 'Elastic Rock' and as a result there is many an old-school fusion fan who simply cannot accept the shiny, synthesized sheen or gated drums found throughout the album. True, 'One Of A Kind' maybe lacks the deeply cosmic ambience of the genre's very best efforts, but you really shouldn't let that put you off. Once again joined by ex-Soft Machine guitarist Allan Holdsworth, bassist Jeff Berlin and former Caravan and National Health keyboardist Dave Stewart, Bill Bruford's commitment to producing truly progressive fusion isn't in question, and his band demonstrate their individual and collective skills with a quite superb collection of tunes. Yes, it sounds a bit 1980's, but so what. The actual melodies, breaks and rhythms belong in the same class as the likes of Nucleus, Soft Machine and Return To Forever, and, unlike early-eighties supergroup Asia, which featured four prog-rock legends and authentic Roger Dean artwork yet actually produced nothing more than lightweight pop-rock, this is no ersatz legend meet designed to drum up profile and cash. It's the real thing. Highlights abound, yet for the purists both the snazzy opening rhymes of 'Hell's Bells' and Bruford's own two-part piece 'The Sahara Of Snow' showcase the quartet at their very best. Indeed, there is a rarely a duff moment to be found, and even when the group lean deeply into rockier realms they maintain a deep sense of jazzy menace, as the six-minute 'Fainting In Coils' demonstrates. If it's Mingus, Coltrane and Baker you dig then maybe 'One Of A Kind' isn't for you. However, those with a penchant for the cosmic strains of Chick Corea or Miles Davis circa his electric period could be in for a treat. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2015
Review by Guillermo
4 stars After trying for several years to find his "best musical identity" in his musical career after the split of KING CRIMSON in late 1974, BILL BRUFORD, by the late seventies at last found it (in my opinion), leading his BRUFORD band to record this all instrumental (without vocals) very good Jazz-Rock / Fusion album in 1979. In fact, it was his second "solo" album, with "Feels Good to Me" (which was recorded in 1977 but was released in January 1978) being his first real solo album. But, with the "One of a Kind" album being really an album recorded under the BRUFORD band's name, with more songwriting collaborations from Dave Stewart, Jeff Berlin and Allan Holdsworth, all of which also contributed to the "Feels Good to Me", album but with that album really being released under BILL BRUFORD's name than as an album recorded as a band.

Why I said before that BILL BRUFORD found his "real musical identity" with this album (and also with "Feels Good To Me")? He said in interviews that while he previously played with a lot of Prog Rock bands, he really was a Jazz drummer playing Rock music. This somewhat "strange mixture" of musical styles for him as a drummer really worked very well while he worked with these bands, with him contributing very good drums playing with very good technique. But for the "Feels Good to Me" and "One of a Kind" albums, he really was composing, playing and recording very good Jazz-Rock / Fusion music by the late seventies. It really was a long "journey" for him to really play the kind of music that he most liked, I think, since he started to be a professional musician in 1968.

While he was playing with the band "U.K. " (with Holdsworth, Eddie Jobson and John Wetton) , he played two of his songs on tour with that band, both of which he later recorded with the BRUFORD band for the "One of a Kind" album: "Forever Until Sunday" and "The Sahara of Snow (Parts 1 and 2)". He said in one interview that Jobson and Wetton didn't want to record those songs for the then planned second "U.K". album with Bruford and Holdsworth (which in the end was titled "Danger Money" and was recorded with Terry Bozzio replacing Bruford but without Holdsworth being replaced). Some live recordings of their 1978 tour show the band playing both songs, and those recordings show the conflicts that the band had, with Holdsworth and Bruford wanting to play Jazz Rock / Fusion music, while Jobson and Wetton wanted to play Prog Rock music (and in the case of Wetton, also Pop Rock music). So, both Bruford and Holdsworht left "U.K." (or were "fired", as Bruford said) in late 1978 to form the BRUFORD band. Anyway, for the recording of "Forever Until Sunday which was included in the "One of a Kind" album, Bruford invited Jobson (then uncredited in the record sleeve to avoid "confusion", as Jobson said in one interview) to play the violin part. But Jobson also was credited as songwriter with Bruford in the part 2 of "Sahara of Snow", but Jobson didn't appear playing in that song. Anyway, "Forever Until Sunday" and "The Sahara of Snow" were recorded for this album with almost the same arrangements that "U.K." played in their 1978 tour.

This "One of a Kind" album, in my opinion, has some more complicated music than the "Feels Good to Me"album, showing that BILL BRUFORD really improved as a composer since then ("with a litle help from his friends" in some songs). But BILL BRUFORD was the main composer and leader in this band. But he let his friends record some of their songs: "Hell's Bells" is a song composed by Stewart (with Alan Gowen); "The Abingdom Chasp" was composed by Holdsworth alone. Some of the other songs have songwriting contributions from the other members of the band: "One of a Kind Part 2" was composed by Bruford with Stewart; "Five G" was composed by Bruford with Berlin and Stewart. But the rest of the songs were composed by Bill Bruford alone.

This album has a very good recording and mixing, with all the members of the band playing very well. Jeff Berlin really shines as bass player in this album.

This is a very good Jazz-Rock / Fusion album. Maybe it sounds "very late seventies" in musical style, but it is very good anyway.

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 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*)

Review by patrickq
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.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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!

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#2189097) | Posted by sgtpepper | Sunday, April 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If I were to judge this album by the amount of innovation, or of the strength of its "influence", we would be looking at good solid 2 stars. The musicianship, the compositions' and the soundscapes' quality easily hit the 4-star level, if not half a notch higher. Things just can't go wrong with Br ... (read more)

Report this review (#776564) | Posted by Argonaught | Saturday, June 23, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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 6, 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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