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
5/5 ·
Slartibartfast
Saw these guys at the Atlanta Agora on tour for this album (minus Holdsworth, dammit). The guitarist was John Clark (not too shabby). I did get to see Holdsworth later on the I.O.U. tour and a rathole club called 688. (Got autographs there!)

Too young to be at the Agora, but so fortunate. I wasn't all that enthusiastic about going at first, but once the music started, I was hooked. One of the things I remember most was Jeff Berlin's picking fingers. They were moving so fast it was like nothing I've ever seen before. Almost a blur! Not just empty headed noodling, but very complex bass work. Not having the benefit of hearing this album before, I rushed out to buy it the next day (was already familiar with U.K.). This album takes off from where U.K.'s U.K. album (1978) left off probably more so than Danger Money does.

Dave Stewart's keyboard performance on this one is incredible. I still get chills listening to The Sahara of Snow. Really inspired me to take up the synthesizer a few years later. Bruford's work here really shows that a drummer isn't just a person who hangs out with musicians (joke). This was just before he started adding electronic drums and participated in the '80's reformation King Crimson. I seriously would not have expected a drummer driven project to be this good. I still prefer Holdsworth's work in other groups to what he's done on his own.

An excellent quartet here and the addition of any other musicians would probably be too much. Not that I mind any of the vocal bits done under the moniker of Bruford. This music is timeless. The compositions are rich and complex. Each tune could probably be expanded into a whole album's worth of material with good results. The music tells many tales here and vocals would be superfluous. The only music that comes to mind that compares to from this time was Steve Morse/Dixie Dregs' What If album, the song Odyssey, in particular.
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