A Personal Tribute To A Musical Giant
It is with deep sadness and shock that I write this post. I learnt about the passing of Jack Bruce about 30 minutes after the stroke of midnight on 26th October 2014. He had left the world many hours earlier on 25th October due to complications from liver disease.
Although I never knew Jack personally, much less even seen him live, Jack, although a bass player, IS a hugely influential musician to me. In all the years listening to and absorbing both his groundbreaking work with the original Power Trio, CREAM, and his own richly eclectic solo work, I learnt to be as broad as possible in my musical outlook. Every form of music on earth is equally beautiful and can be integrated to form new musical languages without diluting the integrity of the original forms. In this process, you ultimately find your own voice, and boy, did Jack certainly have his own voice. This was essentially the message that Jack Bruce taught me to appreciate through his work.
Jack Bruce did it all – he wrote some of the greatest Rock standards with Cream, pioneered a modern approach to playing the electric bass, was gifted with powerful soaring vocals that lifted every track he sung on, and produced solo works that inventively fused different musical forms into a very unique musical tapestry as only he could. Jack had the ingredients to be a such a great musician thanks to a solid background in Classical and Jazz. This background he had was one of the key factors that inspired me to take Jazz seriously. I’m a better musician for it today.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, JACK!!!
Much has been said about his groundbreaking work with CREAM that also included guitarist, Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker, both also massive influences on me. I would however like to share some tunes that I particularly like from his solo work. If you’re new to Jack Bruce’s music, perhaps give these tracks a listen. I hope that you’ll love these works of high level art as much I do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnO1UDqsvjI – Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune (from the album, Songs For A Tailor)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YguY_jUDXRs – Theme From An Imaginary Western (from the album, Songs For A Tailor)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSinbaeI7Cc – Mickey The Fiddler (version from the album, Jet Set Jewel, also recorded on I’ve Always Wanted To Do This)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiNN24qevBU – Directions Home (from the album, Shadows In The Air)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLUE2132_Mc – Hey Now Princess (performance on The David Letterman Show featuring Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker).
Enjoy these songs!!
Jack Bruce, rest in peace. We have your music close to our hearts every moment. May your shining example as a musician and person continue to inspire future generations of musicians who look to push the envelope of musical possibilities as you so capably had.