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Phillip: Regarding your very opening line in the Bruford article, he announced his retirement from live performance, not so much his complete retirement from the music industry. It's an important distinction, I think. - Mark C., Maryland
I've amended the intro. Thanks for pointing it out - I should have caught that...:-)
I admire Bill Brufrd not only as a drummer but also as a composer and have followed his work for many years. I think you made some good observations in your review but to say Bruford is in the same league as Philly Joe Jones might be over the top, especially after making that assessment based on only one track. Philly Joe was an influence on two drummers that changed the course of jazz drumming (and drum set playing in general): Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. While Bruford is obviously a fine drummer and has made many notable contributions of his own I don't think he's in that "league" (few are). After reading Bill's self effacing and sometimes hilarious autobiography I'm sure he'd agree.
Hello Mark - First, I wanted to say to everyone in the All About Jazz universe, it is an honor to have my opinion read by such a considerate and knowledgeable audience. Regarding Mr. Bruford and my review - I first saw him with Yes back in the early '70s when they blew Black Sabbath (who I also liked)off the stage, his performance remains one of the top tub thumpings I've ever witnessed. Besides a Dizzy Gillespie man I couldn't identify from SF/Old Waldorf gig in approx '84, only Carmine Appice(again, '70s,he did amazing cymbal and footwork) and Vinnie Colaiuta (w/Five Peace Band in Germany last Nov) quickly come to mind as comparable, - that said,listening to Summerfold/Winterfold was very educational for me because while it took a couple listens for me to appreciate (I won't claim deep evaluative powers) everywhere Bruford was going, I was very impressed by the wide landscape he worked/explored in. It was that range, not just one track, that prompted my comparison to Philly Joe. As someone who gets behind a kit every once in a while for mainly therapeutic reasons, with general ability somewhere between feeble and cruddy, everyone we mentioned is heroic to me. Thanks for writing.
As a drummer with over 27 years of experience I remember very fondly seeing Bill and Patrick Moraz live at Carleton University in Ottawa Canada in 1985. That show was likely the best drumming lesson I've ever had! My eyes were riveted on everything Bill was doing and I had an excellent side view of him. Listen to his interpretation of Max Roach's The Drum Also Waltzes on Flags with Patrick Moraz; it's a beautiful recorded drum performance. Quite the piece in 3/4 time. Now, try to play it(by memory) ! All I can say is: thank you Bill for inspiring the rest of us !
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