Bill Bruford, 'Seems like a Lifetime Ago 1977–1980'
In 1977, at 28, Bill Bruford had a lifetime of experience and reputation under his belt – with Yes and King Crimson; a touring season in Genesis – when the drummer launched two new bands: U.K. and another under his surname with a starting lineup that also included Holdsworth. Bruford managed to get fired from U.K. after one album (with Holdsworth) but made four LPs with his own unit, one live, until he got a 1981 call to return to Crimson. That discography is gathered in this six-CD box with previously unissued concert material, rehearsals from an unfinished studio album and deep annotation. Bruford's collaborators on 1978's Feels Good to Me reflected his broad definition of fusion: the jazz singer and electronic composer Annette Peacock; Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler; organist Dave Stewart from the truly-prog bands Egg and Hatfield and the North. Later records were made by a tightening quartet with a lively book of originals and a compelling tension onstage. In 2016, Bruford – who kept zigzagging through Crimson, jumped back to Yes for a minute and founded the great jazz group Earthworks before retiring from live work in 2009 – received a Ph.D in music from the University of Surrey. Here is some vintage homework.