Spectrum Road – Spectrum Road

January 01, 1970





As anyone who’s followed his career for any length of time can attest,
Jack Bruce has always been a serious jazzer at heart. Although he achieved
musical immortality as part of the superstar triumvirate that was Cream, his
solo recordings and, more specifically, his work with musical greats John
McLaughlin, Tony Williams and Carla Bley affirmed his ongoing dexterity and
virtuosity. With Spectrum Road,
he ventures into one of his most adventurous initiatives to date, one which
unites him with three like-minded masters – Living Colour guitarist Vernon
Reid, keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood, and longtime
Lenny Kravitz drummer Cindy Blackman Santana. 


It’s a formidable
combination, a band bound to win favor with serious jazz aficionados, what with
their emphasis on improvisation and a sound so frenzied it seems to be going in
all directions at once. Retracing material previously recorded by Williams,
McLaughlin, Bley, Larry Young and Jan Hammer, Spectrum Road maintains momentum with an emphatic delivery, and even
in a rare respite – ala the shadowy ballads “One Word” and “Blues for Tillmon”
(the album’s sole original composition) — the articulate arrangements grow
organically. Bruce’s vocals offer another alluring element, both on those
mellower musings and in the exquisite “There Comes A Time,” but little here is
hum-worthy. Ultimately, where Spectrum
Road will lead is up for speculation, but the
journey is already pretty spectacular.


DOWNLOAD: “There Comes A Time,” “One Word,”
“Blues For Tillmon” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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