Many people will know the name Bill Bruford and it isn’t just restricted to those of us in their middle forties or early fifties who remember him as a member of Yes or King Crimson, or perhaps many of the sessions Bill has managed to notch up over the years, most notably for Genesis for whom he briefly drummed alongside Phil Collins when Phil took over the vocalists spot vacated by Peter Gabriel. These days Bill fronts the jazz quartet Earthworks and in addition to playing the odd session Bill seems more than happy playing dates as far afield as Japan and South America to enthusiastic jazz audiences and music lovers in general.
When you're a drummer playing behind the vocal heights of Jon Anderson, the guitar virtuosity of Steve Howe, or the keyboard genius of Rick Wakeman, you may expect to be disregarded from time to time. Aside from die-hard fans of Yes or King Crimson, Bill Bruford's drumming is taken for granted more often than not, when in fact he's one of the finest rock drummers to emerge from the era. Master Strokes: 1978-1985 is a well-assembled compilation of some of Bruford's best drum work, spanning numerous styles and examples of percussive artistry. All 14 tracks explore the many sides of Bruford's repertoire, delving into jazz fusion, straightforward rock, and progressive rock, and laying out some entertaining examples of how much fire the drums can truly muster, not only in their bombastic state, but also as an accompaniment to other instruments and rhythms as well.
Flags is a 1985 album by the duo Moraz and Bruford. Unlike their prior effort Music for Piano and Drums, which featured only an acoustic drum kit and grand piano, this recording expanded their musical palette by including a Kurzweil 250 synthesizer and electronic percussion…
Bill Bruford is a retired English drummer, percussionist, songwriter, producer, and record label owner who first gained prominence as the original drummer of the rock band Yes, from 1968 to 1972. After his departure from Yes, Bruford spent the rest of the 1970s playing in King Crimson, touring with Genesis and U.K., and forming his own group, Bruford.
A live N.Y.C. radio broadcast by Bill Bruford and his band in July 1979, The Bruford Tapes features material from his Feels Good to Me and One of a Kind albums. Although the mix is shaky, the playing is not. Bruford rules the roost with his inimitable "pong" rim-shot sound and droll stage patter, and Dave Stewart's keyboards especially benefit from a heavier, slightly overdriven stage sound…
While the music made by Bill Bruford's earlier Earthworks band was consistently more interesting, his current lineup continues to make great strides given its more traditional stance (post-bop acoustic piano/saxophone quartet verses ultra-modern Euro-jazz fusion). On the live Footloose and Fancy Free, the group exceeds its own studio performances with room to spare. The lovely ballad "Come to Dust" is a fine showcase for pianist Steve Hamilton, and Bruford's punchy drumming moves a complex "Triplicity." Even non-Earthworks tunes from Bruford's late-'90s collaborations with Tony Levin ("Original Sin") and Ralph Towner ("If Summer Had Its Ghosts") get inspiring interpretations as well, thanks to the well-seasoned playing of both tenor/alto saxophonist Patrick Calahar and Hamilton.
On If Summer Had Its Ghosts, a primarily acoustic trio recording, drummer Bill Bruford, bassist Eddie Gómez, and pianist/guitarist Ralph Towner create some lush, wondrous, spontaneous and melodic music. It has jazz roots, improvisational branches, and elfin extensions. There's no gimmickry or pretension, although Bruford does add some sampled colors, and Towner overdubs his instruments as well as throwing in a pinch of electronic keyboards. What you basically hear is Bruford's newest and freshest music, interpreted and extrapolated upon by three virtuosos in mellifluous interactive conversation. At their most swinging, as on the lively, four/four, tick-tock, light rimshot, mid-tempo swing of the title track, they are telepathic, with Towner effortlessly switching from acoustic 12-string to piano and Gómez laying down soulful, full, deep bass punctuations.
Drummer Bill Bruford made a name for himself in the '70s as a rock & roller of a progressive bent. In the '80s he formed the rather extraordinary jazz/fusion band that became Earthworks – Bruford, saxophonist Iain Ballamy, keyboard and brass virtuoso Django Bates, and bassist Mick Hutton. This was their first album; an interesting one it was, though a later, live recording of the band presented some of the same material in a more highly developed state, rendering this original somewhat irrelevant.
The music of Bill Bruford's Earthworks on All Heaven Broke Loose is quite unusual. The multi-themed originals feature top-notch playing by the quartet (Bruford on drums and electronic percussion, Django Bates on keyboards, peck horn and trumpet, Iain Ballamy on reeds, and bassist Tim Harries) that looks toward Ornette Coleman; at times (Ballamy's tenor sometimes recalls Dewey Redman) while traveling its own singular path. Full of unpredictability, subtle mood changes, touches of eccentric funk and a surprisingly creative use of electronic rhythms here and there, Bruford's band plays intense but sometimes melancholy and introspective music. This version of the release includes an additional CD of bonus material.
This is intelligent fusion – intricately crafted, high energy, and technically impressive. Bill Bruford has distinguished himself from the majority of rock musicians with a consistent drive to experiment and challenge himself artistically. He composes innovative tunes with subtle rhythmic twists, often in odd meters, and his drumming is always musical and very precise. This is the third studio release of the fusion group that he assembled in 1977. Gradually Going Tornado attempted to further streamline the group's approach and introduced the vocal work of the brilliant electric bassist Jeff Berlin (heavily influenced by Jack Bruce and Jaco Pastorius).