Jack Bruce - Jet Set Jewel (1978)

Jack Bruce died today at 71 from his liver illness. This re-up of a fine album refused by the label that caused great damage to his career, is a way to give him a deserved hommage. For those who thought that Jack Bruce was only the Cream bassist, let's say that he was the main (and best) composer of the band, the singer, and that he had a long solo career with some of the best albums being released in modern music (specially Songs for a Tailor, Harmony Row and Out of the Storm). Meanwhile, catch this forgotten LP here.

Here's maybe the record that sent to the dustbin the career of Jack Bruce, another album rejected by a label (RSO), showing how these bastards had the power to refuse shamelessly to issue great albums from geniuses. Cos' Jet Set Jewel is a much better album than was the previous one, How's Trick recorded and issued 2 years before. But let's consider the situation. We are in 1978, for the last 2 years Jack Bruce has a band, and seems to recover from the sudden dismiss of Mick Taylor 3 years before, who ended his former Jack Bruce Band (with Carla Bley), without any album recorded or released. In this new band there's Simon Phillips on drums, Tony Hymas on keyboards and Hughie Burns on guitars. Their first album (How's Trick) was quite uneven and frankly weak (production and compositions). After a long year touring (with a mixed response of the crowd, waiting for old Cream songs when the band only offered his new repertoire), they took a year off followed by the recording of an album entitled Jet Set Jewel (from the eponymous song featuring a sarcastic text on the rockstars life on tour). The recording was difficult because Jack Bruce was hard on heroine and was never happy with what he heard. But after long weeks of studio it was completed and ready to be presented to the bosses of RSO, who hated what they heard and refused to release it. It was the end of hopes for Jack Bruce to have a full time band with him and a correct solo career. Listening to this album today (it was actually released in 2005 with an awful cover sleeve, see below, the reason I did another one from a digital Max Sauco picture I find more fitting to the LP content) it's difficult to understand why they didn't like it cos' it's quite obvious it was a great album that could have found its audience. In streaming, one of the 3 Pete Brown-Jack Bruce penned songs, "The Best Is Still To Come", the last track of the album, a difficult lyrics to write, said Pete Brown in the Jack Bruce recent biography, cos' it was clear that the best was not to come, but Jack Bruce wanted an optimistic song to close the album. It's one of the 3 masterpieces we can find on ot (with "Jet Set Jewel" and "She's Moving On").

The Best Is Still To Come

tilidom file storage

The Best is Still to Come Getting into some new ways And out of the old Left the seasons of regret Changing my role Getting over the dark blue Maybe feeling something new Giving up is harder than living Into the new year And out of the old Saw a vision of the stars Coming out of the cold Getting over the hard greys Finding new days Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy And the best is still to come Found a season to sail on Into the gail Found a reason to press on Those hounds on my tail Runnig away/ got time to pay/ so much to say Giving myself the hardest sell Keeping it on Finding myself a hard shell That shines in the dawn Making a start/ taking some heart/ playing my part I'm taking the straight line I'm making my list I'm catching that train The chances I missed I'm getting past the fear And out into the clear Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy And the best is still to come There's a time to go through the lights When they say red There's a time to let crazy games Move in instead Making that play/ blows you away/ can't always pay A time to go walking on Threatening waves A time to call a stop Be nobody's slave Out into the air/ through with the pat/ giving my share Not coming last/ sun in your hair/ gaining so fast/ Now you are there -In shaking skies we fly alone Out into the lead Our wings are so near burning Keeping up speed Falling behind . . . feeling so blind . . . walking that line . . . so fine . . . I'm into some new waysAnd out of the old I'm leaving the sadness I'm changing my role Leaving out the blue Feeling so new Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy Giving up's harder than living Breaking away isn't easy But the best is still to come . .


Matt said...

Hey wow thanks! Didn't know about this one, although I really dig JB -solo. It does sound better already than How's Tricks. Too bad tehy would't put it outthere.

Anonymous said...

Yes a great album, maybe his best after harmony row, bridges the gap between jazz fusion and rock.

Andy said...

This is a great album, actually released (here in Oz) on Jack's 60th birthday (May 14, 2003), as part of a catalogue set of re-releases of Jack's albums, by Polydor. Hugh Burns (lead guitar on Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street") Tony Hymas (with Jeff Beck and others), and Simon Phillips (session and solo artist/drummer) helped Jack make this a superb album, with an eclectic mix of songs, and not a dud track amongst them.