The Jack Bruce Band - Live '75

(CD 2003/2011; 57:16/53:48; Esoteric Records ECLEC22300)

The tracks:
CD 1:
  1- Can You Follow?(1:43)
  2- Morning Story(7:27)
  3- Keep It Down(5:30)
  4- Pieces of Mind(5:42)
  5- Tickets to Waterfalls/Weird of Hermiston/Post War(24:21)
  6- Spirit(10:44)
CD 2:
  1- One/You Burned the Tables On Me(16:41)
  2- Smiles and Grins(23:56)
  3- Sunshine of Your Love(12:07)

The Jack Bruce Band Website        Cherry Red Records

Whether you like Jack Bruce' s music or not greatly depends on the fact to what extent you like his voice. Even more than his heavy bass playing, Bruce's voice characterizes his songs: it's not particularly pretty, but rather strong and dominating. It sounds the way the man looks: a bit weather-beaten. Probably you've heard his music as he's basically a living legend, who made fame with Cream in the sixties, the power trio with Ginger Baker (drums) and Eric Clapton (guitar). In the mid-seventies Bruce had his own band with often short-lived line-ups. One of those line-ups can be heard on Live'75 with ex- Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, pianist and jazz icon Carla Bley, drummer Bruce Gary and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy. As usual the band played an eclectic mix of styles on this double album, consisting of straight-forward rock, jazz rock and improvisations.

The first disc is dominated by the aforementioned voice which might mean that it's difficult to digest for some listeners. They are probably happier with the instrumental cover of Spirit by Tony Williams, on which particularly Mick Taylor shines. The second disc contains the real gems in three long songs with lots of jazz-rock improvisations: One/You Burned The Tables On Me (16:41), Smiles And Grins (23:56) and the rockier Sunshine Of Your Love (12:07), a well-known hit single for Cream. Most songs are from the, at the time, just released solo album Out Of The Storms, but older work from Harmony Row has not been shunned either. I think the truth should be told: I like the instrumental songs and improvisations the best, because Bruce's voice starts to irritate when you're listening to it for two discs, so I can make a very nice single disc of this release containing all the instrumentals.

**André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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