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BOOK REVIEWS

Bill Bruford: The Autobiography (Signature and Deluxe Editions)

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The Autobiography: Signature and Deluxe EditionsBill BrufordHardcover, 304 pagesISBN: 978-1905792191Foruli Limited Edition Books and Records2011 When Bill Bruford--veteran prog rock/art rock drummer turned jazzer--decided to hang up his sticks in 2009, the outcries were loud, passionate and, surprisingly, incredulous. How could this drummer, who cut his teeth with seminal groups such as Yes and King Crimson (with whom he played, in various incarnations, between 1972 and 1997), just, well, stop? There were plenty of answers to be found when, on the heels of his announcement, Bruford released ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pete Lockett's Network of Sparks featuring Bill Bruford: One

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Released in 1999 on the obscure Melt 2000 label, Bill Bruford's reissue of fellow percussionist Pete Lockett's One continues the now retired drum legend's campaign to release and/or reissue works focusing on the clearly infinite rhythmic, melodic and textural potentials of all-percussion ensembles. One follows the World Drummers Ensemble's world-centric A Coat of Many Colors (Summerfold, 2006) and New Percussion Group of Amsterdam's near-classical Go Between (Summerfold, 2007), which reissued a 1987 EG Records date. For fans of Bruford 's art rock work with Yes and King Crimson, or later jazz proclivities with his evolving Earthworks band and Dutch pianist ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

Bill Bruford: The Autobiography Excerpt: Chapter 10: Is it different, being in jazz?

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[Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Bill Bruford's The Autobiography, first published in 2009 by Jawbone Press, but receiving the deluxe treatment in two very limited edition hardcovers by England's Foruli Limited Edition Books and Records in the fall of 2011. In his book, the veteran drummer--beginning in art rock bands including Yes and King Crimson but, over the a 40-year career, gradually moved towards where he wanted to be all along: jazz--describes his own experiential differences straddling the two worlds, as he often did until 1999, when he decided to devote his career exclusively to jazz projects ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Patrick Moraz / Bill Bruford: In Tokyo

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Known as the art rock drummer who ultimately found his way to jazz, Bill Bruford doesn't appear to be letting up. It's been a busy year: the supposedly retired drummer published his thoroughly engaging Bill Bruford: The Autobiography (Jawbone, 2009) and participated in a whack of interviews; he's released what he claims will be his final album of “new" material, Skin and Wire (Summerfold, 2009) (teaming the intrepid drummer with contemporary keyboard group Pianocircus, performing music by composer Colin Riley); and now comes In Tokyo, an archival live album from his 1980s pairing with keyboardist Patrick Moraz.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pianocircus featuring Bill Bruford: Skin and Wire

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For his final release of “new" music, percussionist Bill Bruford collaborates with Pianocircus--an all-keyboard ensemble best-known for its unique coverage of largely contemporary classical music, fitting somewhere between Steve Reich and Phillip Glass' systems music and the avante leanings of Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür and David Lang. With four of Pianocircus' six members alongside Bruford and bass guitarist Julian Crampton, Skin and Wire features music by Colin Riley, who occupies similar territory, but adds elements of electronics and ambient music to the mix. With plenty to appeal to fans of Swiss pianist Nik Bartsch and albums like Stoa (ECM, 2006), there's ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Bill Bruford: The Summerfold and Winterfold Collections

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Drummer Bill Bruford announced his retirement from live performance in March 2009, and coincident with the release of his autobiography, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography (Jawbone Press, 2009), he has provided a treasure of remarkable composition and improvisation with these intriguing time-capsule tidbits. Another name for the collections, which chronicle the majority of Bruford's musical exploits from 1978 through 2008, could be “Seasons of Excellence." Bruford first found fame in the early 1970s with Yes, and soon afterwards with King Crimson--the album Red (Virgin, 1974) is widely regarded as one of his masterpieces--and has remained one of the ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Bill Bruford: The Autobiography

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The AutobiographyBill BrufordTrade Paperback; 352 pagesISBN: 978-1-906002-23-7Jawbone Press2009 “Veteran drummer Bill Bruford Retires From Public Performance“ the AAJ news item announced on January 26, 2009. At progressive rock boards like Progressive Ears it was enough to cause considerable consternation amongst fans who date back to Bruford's early days with Yes and King Crimson, and who have stuck with him through many subsequent Crimson incarnations, two versions of his flagship Earthworks group and his all-improv duet with Dutch pianist Michiel Borstlap. Amongst the comments:“That's already ...

PODCAST

Bill Bruford Radio Interview

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Chris Comer has a candid conversation with jazz-rock drummer Bill Bruford in the spring of 2001. Bill Bruford played in progressive rock juggernauts Yes and King Crimson and fronts his own British jazz group Earthworks. Chris and Bill discuss the continuing progression of the Earthworks group and the British jazz scene, his status with King Crimson and frank comments about why he quit Yes. Of special note is a discussion of Bruford's drum-duet B'BOOM with Pat Mastelotto, a high point in the King Crimson live set and inspired by Max Roach.Chris Comer has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Bruford / Michiel Borstlap: In Two Minds

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In the years since Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song (Summerfold, 2005) and In Concert in Holland (Summerfold, 2005)--a CD and DVD documenting drummer Bill Bruford's nascent duo with Dutch keyboardist Michiel Borstlap, the pair has continued to perform at irregular intervals. But reconvening after time apart only means there's plenty to talk about. Both lead active lives apart--Borstlap's Eldorado (Gramercy Park, 2008) and Bruford's Earthworks Underground Orchestra, for example--so when they do meet, there's no lack of new ideas.

Culled from live performances as far back as the 2006 Punkt Festival in Kristiansand, ...

INTERVIEWS

Bill Bruford: Earthly Endeavors, Heavenly Pursuits

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For twenty years drummer Bill Bruford has been the engine of Earthworks, one of Britain's most inventive and original jazz bands. Earthworks slowly revolving door has, over the years, seen the coming and going of some of Britain's finest young jazz talent, from keyboardist Django Bates and saxophonist Iain Ballamy to ex-Chick Corea sideman and current reed/flute maestro Tim Garland, and current pianist Gwilym Simcock. The fostering of such youthful talent has brought comparisons between Bruford's Earthworks and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.

The longevity of Earthworks, and the critical acclaim from around the world, is due in large ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Bill Bruford's Earthworks: Video Anthologies Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

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Since forming his two record labels--Winterfold (to deal with solo efforts released prior to 1987, when he formed the first of his more jazz-centric Earthworks groups) and Summerfold (to handle everything that's happened since that career watershed)--drummer Bill Bruford has reissued, in remastered (and, in some cases, expanded) form his entire back catalog as a leader. He's also released Rock Goes to College (Winterfold, 2006), a short but powerful DVD from a 1979 BBC broadcast (an audio version of that concert is also available). With such a flurry of activity between 2004 and 2007, what to do next? align=center>

Well, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Bill Bruford's Earthworks Celebrates Twenty Years with Four-Night Run at Iridium

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Bill Bruford's seminal jazz quartet Earthworks packed the house for most of its ten shows at NYC's Iridium Jazz Club, November 2-5, showcasing some new pieces and treating the audience to favorites from the group's repertoire as well as from Bruford's solo career. Joining the leader and his longtime collaborator Tim Garland were electric bassist Laurence Cottle (credits: Eric Clapton, Brian Eno) and young Welsh virtuoso pianist/composer Gwilym Simcock.

Bruford's tune selections ranged from the “aromatic (his description) Middle Eastern- influenced “Pigalle and “Libreville to later Earthworks favorites such as “Footloose and Fancy Free, “White Knuckle Wedding (from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Bruford / Tim Garland: Earthworks Underground Orchestra

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Bill Bruford forged his reputation as a relentless pioneer striving to advance the art of percussion. Using odd times and improvisation in rock or exploring with electronic drums, he sought to challenge both his self-expression and the drummer's role. Since 1986, his primary outlet as a composer and bandleader has been Earthworks. What began as an electro-acoustic quartet has become strictly acoustic, bringing him back to his early love: jazz. To celebrate this twenty-year anniversary, Bruford and his latest saxophone foil, Tim Garland, put together a nine-piece outfit with top American musicians for a five-night run at ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Bruford: Rock Goes to College

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Bruford Rock Goes to College Winterfold Records 2006

Charting the career of drummer Bill Bruford, one has to sometimes wonder exactly what was he thinking? On the cusp of major commercial success on the heels of Close to the Edge (Atlantic, 1972), Bruford chose to leave Yes to join King Crimson--a band with no small cachet, but at the same time never possessing the commercial appeal of Yes in terms of record sales. But Bruford--a rock drummer and an art rock drummer at that, but one who had deep roots in jazz from the ...



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