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Miscellaneous - A Concert for Jack Bruce

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 24 / 12 / 2019

Miscellaneous - A Concert for Jack Bruce


Nick Dent-Robinson enjoys a fantastic tribute concert to the late Jack Bruce, which filmed at the London Roundhouse in 2018, has just been released on CD and DVD.

It was on 24th October 2015, the eve of the first anniversary of Jack Bruce's death at the age of 71 that a stellar cast of musicians assembled at London's Roundhouse to pay tribute to the great musician. Under the direction of Nitin Sawhney the performance was filmed and recorded. The inaugural screening of the film was on 14th May 2018 – which would have been Jack's 75th birthday. And the show has now become available on a CD and DVD set. Sometimes tribute events of this kind can fall flat. But on this occasion the obvious respect and love shown by all concerned to Jack's memory and his outstanding musicianship guaranteed that did not happen. It was a stunning performance which captured many of the highlights of Jack Bruce's long career. Born in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire Jack Bruce was a quietly proud Scot. As a teenager he played classical and jazz bass and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and Drama where he went on to study cello and composition. By 1962 he was performing mainly blues and jazz and, after a spell with the Graham Bond Organisation, Jack Bruce joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers which featured Eric Clapton on guitar. There followed a stint of commercial success with Manfred Mann but the next highlight came in in the summer of 1966 when, along with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce formed rock's first supergroup, Cream. Classic albums followed – like 'Fresh Cream', 'Disraeli Gears' and 'Wheels of Fire' – in the short two years they were together. Subsequently Jack Bruce released classy solo albums like 'Songs for a Tailor' and 'Harmony Row' before he formed West Bruce & Laing. Over the years Jack Bruce's output became more diverse with jazz, jazz fusion, power-rock, Latin and world music. The tribute concert – and the newly released CD/DVD – feature many reminders of the best moments of Jack Bruce's long and distinguished career. Thirty-five musicians perform – including Ginger Baker, Ian Anderson, Clem Clempson, Hugh Cornwell, Mark King, Phil Manzanera and so many more. Rarely has so much heavyweight talent been gathered together for a single event – or record! There are Cream numbers like 'Badge', 'I Feel Free', 'I'm So Glad', 'Politician' and 'White Room' and a superb version of 'We're Going Wrong' featuring Anderson, Manzanera and Jack Bruce's daughter, Aruba Red. Ayanna Witter-Johnson's vocal and cello rendition of 'Rope Ladder' is also exceptional. As is Aruba Red's affecting delivery on 'Folk Song'. Clem Clempson's guitar work and Mark King's bass are impressive throughout. And a special bonus track entitled simply 'For Jack' and written by Eric Clapton is the perfect ending for this album. Proceeds go to Jack Bruce's favourite charities – which is another reason to invest in this very fitting homage to one of music's greats.

Picture Gallery:-
Miscellaneous - A Concert for Jack Bruce

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