BILL BRUFORD — One Of A Kind (review)

BILL BRUFORD — One Of A Kind album cover Album · 1979 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Abraxas
Bill Bruford is a highly praised drummer within Progressive Rock circles, where he played original, complex and dynamic fills for King Crimson and Yes, but Bill has always been a jazz man in spirit and that is clearly shown throughout his solo work and diverse projects.

One of his first projects was the band named 'Bruford', a fusion group with fantastic musicians on board: fusion legend, Allan Holdsowrth on guitar, the underappreciated keyboard-master, Dave Stewart, and Jeff Berlin on bass.

While by the late 70s fusion had become both very soft and commercial with a very superficial sound, or on the contrary, it became highly technical, with no sense of emotion and not much innovation regarding composition.

One of a Kind from 1979 indeed belongs to the technical kind of fusion, but as a fan of Return to Forever, probably the originators of this technical show-off with symphonic arrangements and melodies, I find One of a Kind to be a very good album.

Besides the technically perfect execution on the compositions with various changes of tempo and time meters, plus the addition of noteworthy melodies which would become the standard for 80s fusion, it's actually the unique playing of each member that makes this album so good. Allan Holdsworth's guitar playing especially, by this time he had already found his sound and it's astonishing on this record. Stewart's keyboard performance is good with nice laid back piano and floating keys, but maybe a tad bit derivative, unlike his playing on National Health or Hatfield & the North where you find his true original sound.

I know that many despise the technical and emotionless fusion brand, but I really don't see any sin in enjoying this type of music every now and then, especially when the musicians interact so damn well and deliver memorable and grandiose melodies, rhythms and solos.

An excellent fusion album which I actually don't regard it one of the peaks of the genre, but still highly recommendable if you're into 70s fusion in the like of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, 11th House, you know the deal.
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