11/1/14

Jack Bruce Band - Live at Manchester Free Trade Hall '75 (1975)


Requested, a new re-up of a Jack Bruce album. His recent death was not unexpected but was a shock. We were used to live on a planet where such a man existed. We'll have to live without. And then we'll follow him. Catch it here.

These days I'm listening much to Marc Bolan and I'm near to post some acoustic demos that gave songs to albums from Slider to Futuristic Dragon. But Rough posted today "One" by Jack Bruce Band on his facebook page and suddenly I realized there was much Bruce stuff I expected to post here that is still lingering in my computer vaults. So here one, not rare but an essential testimony of how sounded this strange team united under the JBB banner. Carla Bley and Mick Taylor backing Jack Bruce could seem a winner ticket but things did not turn this way. The band in this line-up can be heard on the BBC 3-CD compilation in a concert given for the Old Grey Whistlin' Test (and the thing can be seen on youtube even if I'll post here too). It was on the 6th of June 1975. Six days earlier, they had given this concert in Manchester. Much longer (111'), but with more or less the same playlist it's interesting to realize how the band was not so much in a self-indulgent approach that it may have seemed. Even the long "suites" of the second CD are played with a sense of tension that has nothing to do with a lot of experimental stuff of that times. Of course it's sometimes a bit dated but Bruce material is so strong that it overpasses the jazzy and prog useless complexity that spoils the music here and there. Just listen to "One" or "Pieces of Mind" if you don't believe me. They are jewels for eternity. I would have dreamed to hear Billie Holiday sing it. The Mellotron is more pregnant than the moog, it's important to note for those who, like me, have a strong problem with the later (and a big love for the former). But stop bullshitting with words, here the great Jack Bruce at the beginning of a very rude time for him.


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw them at Newcastle City Hall and they were wonderful... the main draw for me was Carla as I was infatuated with Escalator Over The Hill... thanks for the memories!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't see it, what is the password? Thanks Norman

dkelvin said...

There's no password.
dk

Anonymous said...

THANKS!

heeren said...

Thanks. Saw this band in Copenhagen, a truly mindblowing evening. Jack was a master composerand singer. And ofc a bass-legend. A shame this diverse and multi-talented band didn't last long enough to develop their own tunes and record an album....

Vonnoosh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vonnoosh said...

I bought all of these imported reissue CDs the moment I first saw them in 2006. Have you looked into digging out his 80's work? Finding those recordings from just before the CD era used to be impossible. Some might be out now but 'Automatic' from 1983 is a ghost.

You know what bugs me about people feeling the musicians are being ripped off by these posts? They don't know that almost all of these recordings aren't owned by the artists and these versions will never be owned by them. Song writers can retain the writes of the song but not the recording of it. Record companies own the recordings and if they don't see profit in releasing it they leave it where it is until it rots. You'd think the digital age would change that since songs can be marketed and sold as individual tracks but it hasn't changed a thing!

I always suspected this to be the case but a radio interview I heard of Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart from 1987 confirmed it. He was being asked if some of his albums (it might have been about Ice Cream for Crow) he honestly didn't know. When another caller came on and said it was out on CD, all Van Vliet could say was "I am glad for the record company."

Blogs like this can only help the artists themselves. They generate interest in the commercially available material, not replace it. Also makes you want to see them live if that's possible, obviously not with poor old Jack Bruce. May he rest his soul.

Vonnoosh said...

I found the album I was referencing in my previous comment. I try to write with clarity in case you need to use a translation program. That is why I end up deleting posts. Here is the youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCwSt51u3yU to a song from Jack Bruce's 1983 album called Automatic. If you do not wish to follow the link, you can search Jack Bruce with some of the song titles from it (Automatic Pilot, Uptown Breakdown, Traveling Child, E.Boogie) the poster of the one song posted the entire album. I would like to know your opinion of it.

It sounds to me like he was struggling to go along with musical trends of the time while writing the music he was comfortable with. The synthesizers are there but buried in the mix, the drumming sounds like it was at least half computer generated. I can't say this helped the music in my opinion but I am a fan of Bruce's work so I listen to the links regularly. The use of new technology helps the songs that seem to be written with these elements like E.Boogie but not so much with songs like Traveling Child which might have been developed on a piano and could be a 70's outtake.

These experiments by musicians from the 60's and 70's are interesting to me. Jeff Beck's Flash, Eric Clapton's Behind the Sun, Lou Reed's Mistrial Neil Young's Trans, and Tom Verlaine's Cover are all odd but interesting recordings. Dated but that is meant more as a statement than a criticism. Being a sign of the times in terms of musical trends doesn't condemn something to mediocrity.