A lot has been going on at Bruford Towers recently. FYI, and for newcomers to this site [ Winterfold Records curates and controls the [ Following the recent success of the Winterfold box [ Too jazz for rock, and too rock for jazz.
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Shelves: rereads "Talent may never actually be in your possession at all. And there is a tension here that every musician will recognize, between tradition and creation, between the firm sense of musical tradition that has to be preserved, documented, refined, and elaborated, and is personified by someone like trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, as distinct from the equally firm belief in the value of creativity and the importance of the new, fresh, and original.
Perhaps talent is the difference between playing the notes "Talent may never actually be in your possession at all. Perhaps musical talent is no more or less than the ability to be recognised as musically talented. This dovetails closely with discussions of art and craft, and the distinctions between the two. An artist [ In many ways, the artist is less employable, because he can only do it one way, his way; not because he is being obtuse or difficult, but because it must be done that way, otherwise he cannot sleep at night.
The romantic notion is that he is dominated and consumed by his art. Music begins where language leaves off. Great music invariably has something beyond the personal about it, because it depends on an inner ordering process, which is largely unconscious and thus not deliberately willed by the composer. This ordering process is something to be wooed, encouraged, waited for, or prayed for. You can prepare yourself for music, but you cannot force its appearance. You might want to prepare yourself for music to enter your house, by working on your technical abilities, by stilling your mind, by tidying up a bit, so music may pick your house to visit.
Desperation sets in. Because we love music. This guy played in King Crimson! And Yes! AND Genesis, too! As it turns out, Bill is an outspoken and well-mannered English gentleman with a lot to say about music, life on the road and the changing seasons of pop, rock and jazz music.
Even as someone who fosters no love, just indifference and lack of exposure, to his pet project, the jazz group Earthworks, which takes a very prominent role in the book Bill Bruford, I have to admit, has fascinated me ever since I got into progressive rock. Even as someone who fosters no love, just indifference and lack of exposure, to his pet project, the jazz group Earthworks, which takes a very prominent role in the book towards the end, the book never becomes boring.
Art is business. Part humorous, part melancholy, the darker side of the craft is exposed, rhythmically, to the sunlight. Written at the dawn of his retirement, the book is part self-catharsis and part well-mannered, calculated outburst the sort you would expect a polite, middle class father and family man from Kent to deliver , a riddled repository of a long life of observations.
As is proper to a jazz player, there is not so much a premeditated structure but a series of juxtaposed themes that run through the whole book, waxing and waning, foregrounded and backgrounded, in their turn.
There is mastery in the pen as much as in the drum stick. At pages, densely packed, the book is certainly a modestly demanding heavy-weighter. Luckily the diary-like oscillation between the many elements - the psychological insight, the historical musings, treatises on the nature of music, observations about the primate psychology of his band mates, frightening references to Robert Fripp, etc - provides a pleasant mixture of loud and soft, fortissimo and pianissimo, neatly separated into roughly page chunks chapters.
Ideally, the listener cannot hear the join between the two - the composed sounds improvised and the improvised sounds composed. There are only two major faults with the book being the nasty reason for the deduction of the star that shines brightest in the score : 1 Insufficient track-by-track insight into the drum parts of the classic King Crimson and Yes days. How did they do that thing in Discipline? This fault he readily admits and claims to have no interest in such details.
But the reader does. This kind of excessive baggage should have been cut and the book would have been a perfect page package. But surprisingly it feels more like a page book, even with its extra baggage.
Overall, recommended reading for anyone interest in progressive rock, drumming or just high-craft musicianship. For a fan of "the Might Crim" - or of the early history of "Yes" - this book is a goldmine. The main problem is a couple of dead weight chapters at the beginning and a bit of a draggy ending. That said, this is probably the best rock musician autobiography I have read and sets a sort of gold-standard for that sub- sub- sub-genre.
Bill Bruford - The Autobiography: Yes, King Crimson, Earthworks and More
David Sinclair enjoys the witty and erudite reminiscences of a rock drummer turned jazzman David Sinclair Published on Sat 11 Apr Then he moved into jazz, where he enjoyed success with his own group, Earthworks, but on a necessarily reduced scale. Having turned his back on a lucrative position at the heart of the rock machine, he has since found himself, like nearly all jazz musicians, operating as a cottage industry on the sidelines of the marketplace. He has found it a slog, to put it mildly, and at the age of 59 has now announced his retirement, with an almost audible sigh of relief. As well as allowing him to tell his side of the story, his book serves as an extended resignation letter to the industry that has fed, fascinated and frustrated him for more than 40 years. The most surprising feature of these memoirs is the lack of self-belief to which Bruford candidly admits. Although revered as a master percussionist, who is a regular attraction at drum clinics specialist forums where the most acclaimed drummers are paid handsomely to show off their skills , he confesses to a lack of technical confidence that has become little short of disabling.
The Official Website of Bill Bruford and Bill Bruford's Earthworks
Early life[ edit ] Bruford was born on 17 May in Sevenoaks , Kent , the third child of Betty and John Bruford, a local veterinary surgeon. Bruford recalled it as "a perfect education". They then performed as a four-piece  named The Breed, a rhythm and blues and soul band that Bruford played with from to until he was unable to attend all their gigs, leaving the band to hire a second drummer. After he left boarding school, Bruford took a gap year before he intended to start an economics course at Leeds University. After he was unsuccessful in being able to join the band, Bruford "hung around until the end and told them they had the wrong guy I talked my way into it". Bruford then spotted an advertisement in a music shop from The Noise, who were looking for a drummer to play with them for a six-week residency at the Piper Club in Rome , Italy.