JACK BRUCE Live In America Store For Music SFMCD051 (2007)
What can you say about Jack Bruce that any self respecting rock, blues or indeed jazz fan doesn't already know?
He's a master bass player, a fine song writer and a beautiful singer, and beyond that he's never been afraid of ploughing his trade in the company of other top musicians. That being the case 'Live in America', a 1980's recording from a concert in Denver, finds the estimable Bruce barely breaking sweat on a mix of tried and tested material in the company of the likes of Clem Clemson on guitar and David Sancious doubling on guitar, and keyboards plus a thunderous drummer that might be Billy Cobham, especially given that this was the line-up of 1980's 'I've Always Wanted To Do This' album.
The 13 tracks inevitably touch upon his Cream career with the closing jammed out version of 'Politician' being the best offering while another Pete Brown co-write 'Hit & Run' is the pick of his solo stuff.
In between times we get a bit of everything, veering from moments of true inspiration, like some of the interplay on the fractured funk reggae of 'Post War' to a few frankly abject efforts such as 'Clemson Blues Solo' and solo harp piece 'Traintime', both of which seem little more than fillers.
There are a few surreal 60's lyrical moments such as the opening line of the final verse of on 'Face Lift 318' when Jack spits out the line 'you've got a mortgage on your desperation'. But it's a rare moment of light relief, as for the most part this live album although superbly played in parts, sounds like a bunch of heavyweight players unsure of their real context.
Given the line-up of the band you would expect more than what appears to be a hastily assembled set list.