Tragic news…The death announced on October 25th of Jack Bruce after a long battle with liver cancer

Tragic news...The death announced on October 25th of Jack Bruce after a long battle with liver cancer
 © Photo by Peter Szymanski 

I started playing with Jack in a free-jazz context in the early ‘60s – he was playing double bass and it was like working with an erupting volcano beside you.

Jack Bruce - Songs for a TailorHe was endlessly encouraging and gave me the determination to become a professional musician. But it was working with Jack on ‘Songs for a Tailor’ that had the greatest influence on me. His clarity of vision and determination to get exactly what he wanted out of his compositions was a real inspiration. I never forgot that experience. He was more than the most fantastic singer, player and composer. His restless spirit took him so far ahead, I suspect nobody has yet caught up. They probably never will.

Jon Hiseman

10 Responses

  1. Baruch says:

    Thank you Jon. We know the deep respect beteeen you two. Too early to say so..

  2. Arthur Heckstall-Smith says:

    “His restless spirit took him so far ahead, I suspect nobody has caught up yet.” – very eloquently put, Jon.

  3. Have always been a great admirer, followed his musical journey through the years, met him only once…..the musical world has lost one of the finest musicians……a free spirit, adventurous….to me in one catagory with joni mitchell, robert wyatt, frank zappa….people that go beyond borders……I have the sad impression they are becoming an extinct species…..R.I.P. Jack, thanks for the music…

  4. Bob Marriott says:

    I saw both Colosseum and Jack at the Lanchester (now Coventry university) c. 1970? It’s fair to say that you shaded it with the help of the New jazz orchestra? However I saw Jack at Ronnie Scott’s in Birmingham (short-lived venue) and he blew the place apart. His bass was like a brass section. One of the finest composers of his or any generation. I love Songs for a Tailor and would have loved to see you play with him.

  5. Colin Larkin says:

    Wonderful obit, totally accurate. My own efforts published below.

  6. Roger Farbey says:

    Eloquently written Jon. Jack was as near to a genius as makes no difference and he probably influenced more musicians than he could have possibly imagined. The groundbreaking ‘Songs for a Tailor’ and ‘Harmony Row’, the perfection that was ‘Things We Like’ and his essential contribution to Carla Bley’s ‘Escalator Over The Hill’ are all testaments to his prodigious talents. And that’s before considering his work with Cream! His is a great loss to music.

  7. Carlos Bill says:

    Hello Jon Hiseman. First of all, your all-round capabilities on drums always made me think of admiration for your work; and, regarding Jack Bruce’s music, I just must say that everything you pointed is really deep and conclusive. I play the 4 string electric bass here in Rio, rock, psychedelic, and the first time ever I heard Jack playing (playing?! Or ‘soloing while he plays rock scales’?) was as a child in my uncle’s flat of Copacabana. Perhaps the year ws 1970. My older brother was playing Cream’s Goodbye album, and, even as a little boy, hearing I’m So Glad, I assumed there was “something so unreal, different on those lower notes blowing off from that instrument” that I found to be a bass, later. He really played independent lines from the guitar, and Eric Clapton’s sparse licks gave him space to fill the holes, too. But his bass solo in Powerhouse Sod of the Live’n’Kickin’ record with Leslie West and Corky Laing…well Jon, it’s my all-time ever favourite rock bass solo and no one else did match it anywhere. Rag-type of a pre-arranged bass solo or something, never mind, what matters to me was his ability to play those deep, emotional notes with that raw blue notes vibe, as if he was trying to say something…there, he literally ate the whole fretboard! It is extremely weird that such concert don’t exist in video, for a new remaster release in dvd. Or as a full concert…the four-music-only setlist is enough in a way, but I immagine that there must have more than 16 songs they played throughout the show.

    I hope you can say more about him. But that’s enough, I guess…
    My contact is
    Rio: 5521-2576-8281 residency phone//5521-97903-3678 mobile
    Best wishes,
    Carlos Bill–

  8. Dave Ward says:

    What a legacy Jack and all of you share. The material you’ve developed together and also the other work you’ve all done and have gone in to do. That’s the thing about music and I believe that Jack Bruce inspired not just bassists, but also wide ranging players and listeners alike.

  9. Jorge Galvan says:

    I totally agree. Jack was the greatest hero of them all…

    Thank you, Jon.

  10. Absolutely right, Jon. Jack was so far ahead of everyone, even back in the Sixties. And he stayed ahead. I – and many others – feel ‘Songs For A Tailor’ is one of his greatest moments, and – as with ‘Things We Like’ – that is in no small part due to your contribution. I loved that Colosseum did a couple Jack tunes with ‘Roper Ladder to the Moon’ and ‘Theme for an Imaginary Western’, with the former of ‘Colosseum Live’ being one of may all-time faves. Surely that and (Graham Bond’s) ‘Walking in the Park’ that follows it make for the most powerful opening salvo of any album that falls within the rock remit. I had always hoped we’d see a collaboration of Jack and Colosseum. Last night I watched a bit of ‘Supershow’. And while Jack was having a giggle jamming with the likes of Buddy Miles, I’d much rather have seen him with you and your lot. What a match that would have been!

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