|Jack Bruce and The Cuicoland Express — Live at the Milkyway (2 CD, 2011)|
Jack Bruce and The Cuicoland Express — Live at the Milkyway
♦♦ Best known as the bassist and vocalist for Cream, but also a remarkable talent who bridged free jazz and hard rock via countless collaborations.
♦♦ Bruce is also trained as a classical cellist. However, despite all other genres of music with which he is associated, Bruce has always considered himself to be a jazz musician, although much of his catalogue of compositions and recordings tend to evoke the blues and rock and roll. The Sunday Times stated “... many consider him to be one of the greatest bass players of all time.” © Photo credit: David Schienmann
Birthname: John Symon Asher Bruce
Born: May 14 1943, Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Location: London, UK
Album release: February 15, 2011
Recording date: October 20, 2001 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Record Label: Flaccid Parrot | FPRCD 1 / EMI
Genre: Electric Jazz, Prog-Rock, Neo Prog
Total Time: 116:10 mins
1. Surge (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 2:47
2. Out Into the Fields (Jack Bruce / Corky Laing / Leslie West) 5:33
3. 52nd Street (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 9:36
4. Heartquake (Jack Bruce) 7:06
5. This Anger's a Liar (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 9:29
6. Sunshine of Your Love (Jack Bruce / Eric Clapton) 9:39
7. Milonga (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 6:53
1. Windowless Rooms (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 15:44
2. Dark Heart (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 8:33
3. White Room (Jack Bruce) 10:58
4. We're Going Wrong/Politician (Jack Bruce) 19:11
5. 52nd Street Encore (Jack Bruce / Kip Hanrahan) 10:38
© Jack Bruce Music
♦♦ Fender Bass VI
♦♦ Danelectro Longhorn
♦♦ Gibson EB-3
♦♦ Gibson EB-1
♦♦ Warwick Thumb Signature
♦♦ Warwick Jack Bruce CRB
♦♦ Robby Ameen Drums
♦♦ Jack Bruce Arranger, Bass, Composer, Piano, Producer, Vocals
♦♦ Kyla Simone Bruce Artwork
♦♦ Greg Calbi Mastering
♦♦ Eric Clapton Composer
♦♦ The Cuicoland Express Primary Artist
♦♦ Natascha Eleonoré Associate Producer
♦♦ Jon Fausty Engineer
♦♦ Richie Flores Congas
♦♦ Kip Hanrahan Composer, Mixing, Producer
♦♦ Horacio "El Negro" Hernández Drums
♦♦ Dick Kondas Mixing
♦♦ Corky Laing Composer
♦♦ Vernon Reid Guitar
♦♦ Margrit Seyffer Executive Producer, Photography
♦♦ Leslie West Composer
♦♦ Bernie Worrell Organ
Album Moods: Ambitious Bravado Celebratory Complex Confident Cosmopolitan Driving Earthy Ebullient Euphoric Exciting Gritty Literate Rousing Sophisticated Spicy Spontaneous Striding Strong Thrilling Visceral
Themes: Day Driving Joy Partying The Creative Side Travel
♦♦ Bruce released new studio album Silver Rails in March 2014 on the Esoteric Antenna record label to critical acclaim.
Reviewed by Joel McIver | Score: ***
All funk and some jazz makes Jack a fun boy
♦♦ Sometime Cream bassist Jack Bruce has played with several ensembles in his time, from the splendid to the frankly incongruous, but one of the most successful was the Cuicoland Express sextet from a few years back. Roping in Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, Funkadelic organist Bernie Worrell, a couple of Latin American percussionists and a rhythm section (yep — two bass players in one band), Bruce performed world-flavoured rock and roots to much critical chin-stroking.
♦♦ This album was recorded in Amsterdam in 2001 and shows the range of this intimidatingly-talented band, anchored by Reid’s high-speed shredding and Worrell’s skewed atmospherics. A leftfield take on Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love is a little too self-indulgent to take seriously, but White Room works perfectly in this context, while an ice-cold vocal/piano piece, Milonga, is mind-blowing.
♦♦ Above all, the set shows where Bruce can go when he puts his mind to it, with extended jazz workouts, fearsomely dexterous conga solos and plenty of high-register stuff on his signature Warwick for the disciples. Given the visual pyrotechnics with which the band played, a live DVD would be the obvious first choice but, in its absence, this slightly nutty collection will do nicely. (http://recordcollectormag.com/)
|♦♦| Import-only two CD release. In 2001, an incredible concert took place, the legendary Jack Bruce performing live with his all-star band; the Cuicoland Express at The Melkweg in Amsterdam. For nine years, only the lucky few who were members of the audience that night were able to experience the magic that took place. Although the show had been recorded, the tapes lay dormant and inaccessible, seemingly lost to the world. In 2009, an opportunity in New York arose enabling the tapes to be digitally converted, meaning they could be mixed and mastered by Bruce's long-term producer and friend, Kip Hanrahan.
|♦♦| JACK BRUCE. The composer, the singer, the multi-instrumentalist, the Legend. |♦♦| Hailed as one of the most powerful vocalists and greatest bassists of his time, his improvisational skill and utterly unique, free-spirited approach to composition and performance would forever change electric music. His pioneering, full-toned, free-wheeling playing on the electric bass revolutionised the way the instrument is used and influenced the playing of countless bassists to today, including Sting and Jaco Pastorius. His work with bands such as Cream and the Tony Williams Lifetime, as well as his solo material, unlocked the doors to the pent-up energy of a new approach to the art of sound, breaking the barriers of tradition and creating a kind of music that had never been heard.
|♦♦| Jack was born to musical parents in the shipbuilding city of Glasgow, Scotland on 14 May 1943. His parents travelled extensively in Canada and the U.S.A. Jack attended 14 different schools, finishing his formal education at Bellahouston Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, to which he won a scholarship for cello and composition. He left the Academy and his homeland at the age of 17, because of poverty and discouraged by his professors' lack of interest in his ideas.
|♦♦| Jack travelled to Italy and then England, playing double-bass in dance bands and jazz groups, and joined his first important band in 1962 in London. This was Alexis Korner's Blues Inc. with whom Charlie Watts, later to join the Rolling Stones, was drummer. Jack left Alexis in 1963 to form a group with organist Graham Bond, guitarist John McLaughlin and drummer Ginger Baker. This group became the seminal Graham Bond Organisation after John left, and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith joined. Jack was compelled to leave this band after three years by Ginger Baker, who said his playing was "too busy"!
|♦♦| Jack had to turn down Marvin Gaye's offer to join his U.S.-based band because of his impending first marriage. He then joined John Mayall's Blues Breakers, where he first met Eric Clapton, followed by Manfred Mann in an ill-advised attempt at commercialism. It was Ginger Baker who initially asked Jack to form a trio with Eric Clapton. Eric insisted that Jack be the singer.
|♦♦| Cream went on to sell 35,000,000 albums in just over two years and were awarded the first ever platinum disc for Wheels of Fire. Jack wrote and sang most of the songs, including "I Feel Free", "White Room", "Politician" and perhaps the world's most performed guitar riff, in "Sunshine Of Your Love". Cream split in November 1968 at the height of their popularity; Jack felt that he had strayed too far from his ideals and wanted to re-discover his musical and social roots.
|♦♦| He began recording solo albums; the first being his influential Songs For A Tailor and thereafter commenced his policy of playing simultaneously in rock, jazz and classical formats, attempting to realise his personal and unique style of performance and recording which is an amalgam of these three plus the influence of other important world and ethnic music.
|♦♦| Around this time, during the American tour of the first of Jack's own bands (this one featuring guitarist Larry Coryell and Jimi Hendrix's drummer Mitch Mitchell), Jack was introduced to Tony Williams by John McLaughlin. || He soon joined Tony's Lifetime, along with John and the late, great Larry Young; an experience he describes as "the musical time of my life". Frustrated by the breakup of Lifetime and greatly saddened by Hendrix's tragic death (Tony and Jack had been talking to Jimi about forming a "dream" band together), Jack found solace in returning to his heavy roots with the formation of West Bruce and Laing with Leslie West and Corky Laing.
|♦♦| Since then, Jack has fronted many of his own bands (featuring, amongst others, such side people as Carla Bley, Mick Taylor, Simon Phillips, Tony Hymas, Billy Cobham, David Sancious and Gary Moore) and recorded numerous solo albums as well as collaborating on special projects with artists like Carla Bley (Escalator Over The Hill) and Kip Hanrahan (Desire Develops An Edge). He has also worked as session man on carefully chosen dates with the likes of Lou Reed (Berlin) and Frank Zappa, with whom Jack co-wrote Apostrophe, which became Frank's biggest selling album.
|♦♦| In 1991 he performed in Vienna in a new, specially commissioned work with Michael Mantler and Mike Gibbs, accompanied by the Niederosterreichischen Tonkiinstler Symphony Orchestra. He also completed a successful tour of ten European capitals with his thirteenpiece Latin/Jazz/Rock fusion orchestra. Throughout the early 1990s he increased his knowledge of World musics, his two solo albums A Question of Time (Epic/Sony) and Somethin Els (CMP) stating the new direction towards which his music would evolve.
|♦♦| At the Guitar Legends festival in Seville, in 1992, Jack enjoyed playing with Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Steve Cropper and many other friends.
|♦♦| The year 1993 was special, starting with Jack's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Cream, and ending with an inspired fiftieth birthday concert which featured many of his old friends including Dick Heckstall-Smith, Maggie Reilly and Gary Moore. This event which was recorded and released as a CD box set entitled Cities of the Heart (CMP) led to Jack forming BBM with Gary Moore and Ginger Baker and subsequently releasing the top-ten album Around the Next Dream (Virgin).
|♦♦| In 1995, Jack concentrated on his keyboard playing and recorded a set of piano solos and duos with organist Bernie Worrell, who played previously with George Clinton, Funkadelic and Talking Heads. The release of the recording, entitled Monkjack, represented a new departure for Jack. He was delighted to have been invited to present this material at the Edinburgh Festival and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in September of that year.
|♦♦| In Copenhagen in the autumn of 1996, Jack took part in the first performances of Michael Mantler's School of Understanding, which has been described by Michael as a "sort-of-an-opera". There were further performances in Berlin early in 1998.
|♦♦| During the late 1990s, Jack toured with several iterations of Ringo Starr's All Star Band, along with guitarists Peter Frampton, Todd Rundgren and Dave Edmunds, keyboardists Gary Brooker and Eric Carmen, drummer Simon Kirke, and horn player Mark Rivera.
|♦♦| In 1999 and 2000 Jack returned to the studio with co-producer Kip Hanrahan to record his solo CD, Shadows in the Air, which hit #5 on the UK Jazz & Blues Chart following its 2001 release by Sanctuary Records. The album's cast featured a pantheon of musical guests, including Eric Clapton, Dr John, Gary Moore, Vernon Reid and Changuito Luis Quintana. Jack's supporting 2001-2002 world tour included the talents of Vernon Reid, Bernie Worrell, Robby Ameen, El Negro Horacio Hernandez, and Richie Flores, known collectively as Jack Bruce & The Cuicoland Express.
|♦♦| In 2002 Jack participated in a summer tour with A Walk Down Abbey Road, a tribute to The Beatles featuring Alan Parsons, Todd Rundgren, Mark Farner, Christopher Cross, Godfrey Townsend, John Beck and Steve Murphy. In November, Jack joinied Uli Jon Roth, Glenn Hughes and Michael Schenker for the Legends of Rock tour.
|♦♦| The year 2003 saw the release of Jack's second album on Sanctuary Records, More Jack Than God. Like its predecessor Shadows in the Air, the album was co-produced by Kip Hanrahan. Among the musicians are the core band from Shadows in the Air, Godfrey Townsend, and Jack's son, Malcolm Bruce. More Jack Than God blends a diverse range of musical styles from classic, Willie Dixon inspired blues, to hints of the Latin and World music flavours that Bruce and Hanrahan explored through the 1980s and 1990s, to the subtle and gentle beauty that reflect Jack's growing introspective approach to songwriting.
|♦♦| The year 2005 was a momentous one. Jack reunited with former bandmates Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker for Cream's first concert tour in 37 years. In May the band played four historic nights at London's Royal Albert Hall, which were recorded and subsequently released on both audio and video. In October the band played three concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City; during the same week Jack was honored, along with Ron Carter, with the Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his pioneering musicianship and his outstanding influence on the development of modern bass technique. In February 2006 Jack took the stage at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California to accept a special Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Cream.
|♦♦| Recent years have seen Jack continuing his involvement with his passion — music. In 2007 he was awarded with a Doctor of Music degree from his Alumni College, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Two new albums were released in 2008. The first was Jack Bruce with the HR Big Band, versions of Jack performing songs old and new arranged for the wonderful German orchestra of Hessische Rundfunk. The second was Seven Moons, an album of new material, with master guitarist, Robin Trower and drummer, Gary Husband. Also released in 2008 was Spirit, a multi-disc set of recordings of Jack's live performances at the BBC. His most recent releases are Seven Moons with guitar god Robin Trower and the six CD box set entitled Can You Follow? which traces his career from the age of nineteen up until (almost) the present day.
|♦♦| In 2009 Jack was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University.
|♦♦| 2010 saw the release of Jack’s authorized biography, 'Composing Himself.' In addition to planned tours of Europe and the USA, 2010 will mark the release the amazing album 'Jack Bruce and the Cuicoland Express Live at the Milky Way' and the long awaited release of the seminal documentary film about Jack by Tony Palmer, 'Rope Ladder to the Moon.'
|♦♦| 2011: toured and recorded with his new band, Spectrum Road featuring Vernon Reid (guitar), John Medeski (keyboards) and Cindy Blackman Santana (drums) and embarked on a British tour with the Ronnie Scott’s Blues Experience.
|♦♦| Bruce has been married four times. He married his fourth wife, Margrit Seyffer, in 1979, and she became his manager in 2003. Bruce published his autobiography, Composing Himself, in 2010.
:: Margrit Seyffer of Spotsmusic Ltd, may be contacted at .
:: You may contact Jack's publicist, Sharon Chevin, by e-mailing .
|Jack Bruce and The Cuicoland Express — Live at the Milkyway (2 CD, 2011)|