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Bruford: One Of A Kind

Sounds, 1979

Phil Sutcliffe

BILL BRUFORD is my favourite drummer in the whole wide world so it's a source of regret to me that he has spent the years since King Crimson's decease in patchy activity only intermittently satisfying to artist and listener.

His most productive alliances were probably with Roy Harper, National Health and Annette Peacock. This latest opus extends the Health connection with Dave Stewart on keyboards and occasional writing, and continues his alliance with guitarist Allan Holdsworth, former colleague in UK, and bassist Jeff Berlin, from his previous solo venture 'Feels Good To Me'. The result is musicianly, interesting but a distance short of Bruford's potential.

It is neither 'cold' nor academic', the snub-adjectives that are ready-to-hand when criticising skilled instrumentals, and yet there's no way they express the leaping exuberance of Bruford's spirit or the articulate love of music I've heard him expressing both verbally and through the drums. I don't hear him talkin'.

My simplistic answer is that he should reintroduce vocals again though with the idiosyncratic charms of a Harper or a Peacock rather than the solid shout of a John Wetton (as in UK).

In the last couple of years Bruford has learnt to play the piano so that he could work out his frustrated urges as a writer. He is anything but a superstar-in-aspic despite the ex-Yes, ex-Genesis tags. 'One Of A Kind' is nearly 50 minutes of finely-wrought music with all sorts of nice bits to tickle your ears. But Bill is as vibrant a human being as ever pogoed from corn flakes to cocoa time and you wouldn't know him from this album.

Transcribed by Per Stornes
Updated: March 1, 2001
Scheduled update: None

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