Interspersed with breaks in the music for KUVO’s Spring Membership Campaign, we’ll squeeze in as many recordings featuring drummer Bill Bruford as possible. Be sure to tune in The Night Beat on Wednesday evening, May 17 at 8 pm with your host Doug Crane for music from Bill Bruford, also from saxophonist Jackie McLean (5/17/1931-3/31/2006) and more as we try to gently coerce you to invest in your very favorite (we hope!) radio station KUVO.
“Invest” is a word I especially like to use to describe how and why your financial support means so much to KUVO. Donating your hard-earned dollars to KUVO does involve a hit to your bank account but it’s what’s needed to ensure KUVO continues to thrive. As but one example, your financial “investment” helps to pay for the many and increasingly more frequent performances airing live from KUVO’s new studios at Rocky Mountain Public Media. And, depending upon the amount of your donation/investment in KUVO, you could find yourself as part of the live audience. Call 800-574-5886, pledge online at kuvo.org or use the KUVO app to “invest” in KUVO today!
Here’s a quick Bill Bruford primer…
Bill was born in Kent, England on May 17, 1949. He first picked up a pair of drumsticks at the age of 13 after watching a number of American Jazz Drummers on “Jazz 625”, a television program that aired on BBC2. Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and Joe Morello are among the drummers that influenced Bill.
He first came to prominence in the progressive art-rock band Yes in the late 1960s. Bill left Yes in the summer of 1972 to join one of Robert Fripp’s many incarnations of King Crimson. In the late 1970s, Bill was one of the founders of the band U.K. and recorded a trio of albums by his own band simply called “Bruford”. The first two albums prominently featured legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth.
Bill joined a reconfigured King Crimson in 1980 which, besides Bill and Robert Fripp, included bassist Tony Levin and guitarist Adrian Belew.
While elements of jazz were present in Bill’s projects to this point, it was in Bill’s band Earthworks that improvisation was moved front and center. Many fans of rock music considered the band too jazz oriented. Likewise, jazz fans found the music too much like rock and roll.
Earthworks’ jazz bona fides were given greater credence after having been part of Chick Corea’s Origin band, saxophonist Tim Garland joined Bill’s band.
Among the tracks featuring Bill Bruford this Wednesday evening will be two by his band Earthworks, one by a trio including Bill with bassist Eddie Gomez and guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, one from his “Bruford” band, and one with Bill in the drum chair of the Buddy Rich band. The latter was a project of Neil Peart, the drummer for Rush, to showcase some of the best drummers of the mid-1990s.
While ceasing to perform in public in 2009, Bill has written a couple of books including his autobiography. He received a Doctorate in Music from the University of Surrey in 2016. In 2017 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.