jack bruce

John Symon Asher "Jack" Bruce met, and jammed, with Frank Zappa due to mutual friend Jim Gordon. The jam took place in September, 1972, at Electric Ladyland Studios, NYC with Frank Zappa, Jack Bruce, Tony Duran (rhythm guitar), and Jim Gordon (drums). The result of this jam can be found on the title song on Apostrophe (').



born: may 14, 1943 in glasgow, scotland

     from: frank zappa: guitarist (1997 interview with steve rosen)
steven rosen: what about playing with jack bruce on apostrophe (')?
frank zappa: well, that was just a jam thing that happened because he was a friend of
jim gordon.  i found it very difficult to play with him; he's too busy.  he doesn't really want to play the bass in terms of root functions; i think he has other things on his mind.  but that's the way jam sessions go.

      from: amg
although some may be tempted to call multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer jack bruce a rock & roll musician, blues and jazz are what this innovative musician really loves. as a result, these two genres are at the base of most of the recorded output from a career that goes back to the beginning of london's blues scene in 1962.  in that year, he joined alexis korner's blues incorporated.
bruce's most famous songs are, in essence, blues tunes: "sunshine of your love," "strange brew," "politician," and "white room." bruce's best-known songs remain those he penned for cream, the legendary blues rock trio he formed with drummer ginger baker and guitarist eric clapton in july, 1966. baker and bruce played together for five years before clapton came along, and although their trio only lasted until november 1968, the group is credited with changing the face of rock & roll and bringing blues to a worldwide audience. through their creative arrangements of classic blues tunes like robert johnson's "crossroads," skip james's "i'm so glad," willie dixon's "spoonful," and albert king's "born under a bad sign," the group helped popularize blues-rock and led the way for similar groups that came about later on, like led zeppelin.
bruce was born may 14, 1943, in lanarkshire, near glasgow, scotland. his father was a big jazz fan, and so he credits people like louis armstrong and fats waller among his earliest influences. he grew up listening to jazz and took up bass and cello as a teen.  after three months at the royal scottish academy of music, he left, disgusted with the politics of music school.  after travelling around europe for a while, he settled into the early blues scene in 1962 in london, where he eventually met drummer ginger baker.  he played with british blues pioneers alexis korner and graham bond before leaving in 1965 to join john mayall's bluesbreakers, whose guitarist was eric clapton. but in the one year he spent with graham bond, he recalls performing upwards of 300 shows. this gave him time to get his chops together without having to practice. with manfred mann, who he also played with before forming cream, bruce learned about the business of making hit songs. the group's reputation for long, extended blues jams began at the fillmore in san francisco at a concert organized by impressario bill graham. bruce later realized that cream gave him a chance to succeed as a musician, and admitted that if it weren't for that group, he might never have escaped london. after cream split up in november 1968, bruce formed jack bruce and friends with drummer mitch mitchell and guitarist larry coryell. recording-wise, bruce took a different tack away from blues and blues-rock, leaning more in a folk-rock direction with his solo albums songs for a tailor (1969), harmony row (1971) and out of the storm (1974).
in 1970 and 1971, he worked with tony williams lifetime before putting together another power trio with guitarist leslie west and drummer corky laing in 1972, simply called west, bruce and laing. after working with frank zappa on his album apostrophe in 1974, bruce was at it again in '75 with the jack bruce band, where members included keyboardist carla bley and guitarist mick taylor. again on the road in 1980 with jack bruce and friends, the latter version of the group included drummer billy cobham,
keyboardist david sancious and guitarist clem clempson, formerly of humble pie. in the early '80s, he formed another trio, b.l.t., this time with guitarist robin trower before working with kip hanrahan on his three solo albums. through three and a half decades, bruce has always been a supreme innovator, pushing himself into uncharted waters with his jazz and folk-rock compositions.  bruce's bluesiest albums would have to include all of his work with cream, the albums b.l.t. and truce with robin trower, some of his west, bruce and laing recordings, and several of his albums from the 1980s and early '90s. these include willpower, (polygram, 1988), a question of time (epic records, 1989), which includes guest performances by albert collins, nicky hopkins and baker, as well as his cmp records live career retrospective album, recorded in cologne, france, cities of the heart (1993). bruce's most recent release is 1995's monkjack, an album of his jazz piano compositions, which he performs with organist bernie worrell, issued on the cmp record label. -- richard skelly

     from: unknown
mr. bruce played in 60s bands including "cream" with eric clapton and ginger baker. recently released a cream-like album and single as part of the band "bbm", for "baker, bruce, and moore" with gary moore handling clapton's old role.

     from: unknown
not only aynsley dunbar, but also jack bruce, is featured on the _berlin_  album by lou reed.  which means that two musicians connected with fz is on one of the true masterpieces in the history of rock'n'roll.

     from: unknown
appeared on several albums, some of which are: 
 - tony williams: lifetime (w/john mclaughlin) 
he has several solo albums, the most recent being "monkjack", where he plays piano throughout with hammond organ contributions from bernie worrell (of parliment/funkadelic fame).  

     from: walter norton (cpt wyzgye@aol.com
jack bruce did an outstanding job as vocalist some years ago on  an album called "road games", by allan holdsworth.(i.o.u.)  this effort was produced by ted templeman supposedly at the request of holdsworth fan eddie van halen.  other players were:  bass: jeff berlin drums: chad wackerman

      from: peter lawes(plawes@geometric.com
he lives in rural suffolk, england.  my neighbour is a plumber (who also knows his music) and he did some work for him.

      from: rick sanders (rick@ricksan.demon.co.uk)
jack bruce did a fantastic guest vocal job on a track called something else is working harder on the 100% magnificent golden palominos album 'blast of silence' (1986). well worth seeking out.


(all credits for bass unless otherwise specified)

1969 jack bruce- songs for a tailor

1970 jack bruce- things we like

1971 jack bruce- harmony row

1974 jack bruce- out of the storm

1977 jack bruce- how's tricks

1980 jack bruce- i've always wanted to do this

1981 jack bruce- bruce lordan trower (b.l.t)

1982 jack bruce- truce

1990 jack bruce- a question of time

1993 jack bruce- somethin' else

1994 jack bruce- cities of the heart

1994 jack bruce- jack bruce & friends

1995 jack bruce- bbc radio 1 in concert [live]

1995 jack bruce- monkjack

1997 jack bruce- sitting on top of the world


1972 jack bruce- at his best

197  jack bruce- pop giants no 14

1980 jack bruce- greatest hits

1989 jack bruce- willpower: a twenty-year retrospective

1995 jack bruce- collection

1996 jack bruce- the jack bruce collector's edition

1996 jack bruce- collection & moonjack


1964 williams, tony- life time 

1965 bond, graham- sound of 65 

1965 bond, graham- there's a bond between us 

1966 cream- full cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals) 

1966 taylor, mike- mike taylor trio 

1966 cream- fresh cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals) 

1967 donovan- wear your love like heaven 

1967 manfred mann- soul of mann 

1967 cream- disraeli gears (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals) 

1967 donovan- gift from a flower to a garden 

1968 cream- wheels of fire (guitar (acoustic), bass, harmonica, calliope, cello,

      keyboards, recorder, vocals) 

1968 cream- wheels of fire [studio] (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals) 

1968 bley, carla- escalator over the hill (bass, vocals) 

1969 ardley, neil- dejeuner sur l'herbe

1969 cream- best of cream [atco/polydor] (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals) 

1969 cream- i feel free (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1969 cream- rock sensation (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1969 cream- best of cream [arcade] (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1969 velez, martha- fiends & angels 

1969 blues incorporated- blues inc/alexis korner all stars 

1969 ardley, neil- greek variations 

1969 cream- goodbye (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1969 mayall, john- looking back 

1969 williams, tony- spectrum: the anthology (bass, vocals) 

196  powerhouse four- what's shakin' (bass, vocals) 

1970 bond, graham- solid bond 

1970 cream- swlabr (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1970 power, duffy- innovations 

1970 williams, tony- tony williams lifetime 

1970 cream- live cream, vol. 1 (bass, vocals) 

1970 williams, tony- turn it over 

1972 winwood, steve- winwood & friends 

1972 cream- off the top (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1972 cream- heavy cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1972 keys, bobby- bobby keys 

1972 clapton, eric- history of eric clapton (bass, vocals) 

1972 cream- live cream, vol. 2 (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1972 korner, alexis- bootleg him! 

1973 west bruce & laing- whatever turns you on (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1973 history of british blues (bass, piano) 

1973 mantler, michael- no answer (bass, vocals) 

1973 reed, lou- berlin 

1973 west bruce & laing- why dontcha (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1974 locomotiv g t- locomotiv gt (harmonica)

1974 west bruce & laing- live & kicking (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1974 mantler, michael- jazz composers orchestra (bass, vocals) 


frank zappa: apostrophe (')
   (1974, lp, usa, discreet)


1975 cream- cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1975 cream- portrait of cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1975 cream- best, vol. 2 (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1976 mariano, charlie- helen twelve trees

1976 mclaughlin, john- in retrospect 

1977 bond, graham- beginning of jazz rock 

1977 cream- wheels of fire [live] (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1977 cream- best of cream live (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1977 mayall, john- primal solos 

1978 dudek, les- ghost town parade (vocals) 

1978 cream- early cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1978 mclaughlin, john- electric guitarist 

1979 marsden, bernie- about time, too! 

1979 manfred mann- semi detached suburban 

1979 powell, cozy- over the top 

197  cream- pop giants (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

197  cream- pop history (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1980 anderson, jon- song of seven 

1981 b l t bruce lordan tro- b l t [bruce lordan trower] (bass, vocals)

1981 rocket eighty eight- rocket 88 

1981 korner, alexis- rocket 88 

1981 korner, alexis- profile 

1981 trower, robin- b.l.t. 

1981 rabin, trevor- wolf 

1981 soft machine- land of cockayne 

1982 anderson, jon- animation 

1982 moore, gary- corridors of power (vocals) 

1982 trower, robin- truce (bass, keyboards, vocals. producer)

1982 allison, mose- lesson in living 

1982 hanrahan, kip- desire develops an edge (bass, vocals) 

1983 holdsworth, allan- road games (vocals) 

1983 cream- story of cream (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1983 cream- story of cream, vol. 2 (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1983 cream- strange brew: the very best of crea (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1984 bond, graham- graham bond organization 

1984 nauseef, mark- wun-wun (bass, vocals) 

1985 ward, bill- ward one: along the way (bass, vocals) 

1985 hanrahan, kip- vertical's currency (bass, piano, vocals) 

1986 golden palominos- blast of silence (vocals) 

1986 watts, charlie- live at fulham town hall (cello) 

1986 frank zappa- apostrophe/over-nite sensation 

1987 mantler, michael- live (vocals) 

1987 mantler, michael- many have no speech (vocals) 

1988 clapton, eric- crossroads (bass, piano, vocals) 

1989 cream- live 1968 (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals)

1989 watt works family album- watt works family album (vocals) 

1991 cream- strange brew [video] 

1992 reed, lou- between thought and expression: the 

1992 golden palominos- history (1982-1985) (harp, vocals)

1992 golden palominos- history (1986-1989) (vocals) 

1992 symon-asher- three color sun (arranger, composer) 

1992 hanrahan, kip- exotica 

  jack bruce: somethin' else
    (1993, cd, usa, ??) - feat. bruce & walt fowler

jackbruce_somethinels.jpg (14649 bytes)

1993 boyz ii men- cooleyhighharmony (bass, vocals) 

1993 mclaughlin, john- compact jazz 

1993 mantler, michael- folly seeing all this (vocals) 

1993 american clave- american clave 

1994 haines, paul- poems by paul haines musics by many 

1994 mark nauseef & miroslav tadic- the snake music

1994 folk- folk [friedman] (bass, vocals) 

1994 haines, paul- darn it! (bass, vocals) 

1994 lucy's fur coat- jaundice (bass, vocals) 

1994 bbm- around the next dream (bass, cello, vocals) 

1995 winwood, steve- finer things 

1995 hanrahan, kip- all roads are made of the flesh (bass, vocals) 

1996 mclaughlin, john- this is jazz, vol. 17 

1996 west, leslie- blood of the sun: 1969-1975 (bass, harmonica, keyboards, vocals, producer)

1997 celebration of blues: great slide g (bass, vocals) 

1997 knights of the blues table (bass, harmonica, vocals) 

  michael mantler: the school of understanding
    (1997, 2cd, ger, ecm records ecm 1648/49 537 963-2) - feat. don preston

mantler_schoolofunderstanding.jpg (12296 bytes)


1997 jazz fusion, vol. 1

1997 powell, cozy- very best of cozy powell 

1999 anthony hindson and friends- it's a curious life (with shankar and scott thunes)

1999 the new gary husband trio- from the heart (dbl)

     mayall, john- 1969 (2) 1971 (3) 1971 (4) 1977 (5) 

     jazz club: drums- jazz club: drums 

     cmpler- cmp-ler (vocals)



  bruce cameron: midnight daydream
    (1999, cd, usa, brain cell records) - feat ant-bee, bunk gardner

cameron_midnightdaydream.jpg (43416 bytes)

  jack bruce and the cuicoland express: live at the milkyway
    (2011, 2cd, ??, ??)
jackbruce_milkyway.jpg (31392 bytes)
  jack bruce & his big blues band: live 2012
    (2012, 2cd, ??, ??)


frank zappa: the crux of the biscuit
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr20020)

fz_cruxofthebiscuit.jpg (32468 bytes)



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