Fricke's Picks Radio: Remembering Jack Bruce, the Deep Tracks - Rolling Stone
×
Home Music Music News

Fricke’s Picks Radio: Remembering Jack Bruce, the Deep Tracks

Listen to a playlist of the bassist, singer and songwriter’s essential tracks from Cream and beyond

Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce, circa 1973

Jorgen Angel/Redferns/Getty

Singer, bassist and songwriter Jack Bruce, who died on October 25th at 71, spent a microscopic part of his life in the power trio, Cream: from the summer of 1966 until the end of 1968, then a brief season of reunion in 2005. That group’s original leap through electric blues and psychedelia into a genuinely progressive, vigorously improvised rock inevitably defined Bruce’s rock stardom and loomed over his work as a solo artist and collaborator for four and a half decades. But his discography was kaleidoscopic and often profoundly moving, reflecting Bruce’s early attraction to jazz, the folk songs of his Scottish heritage and a willingness to go where few rockers, certainly in the early and mid-Seventies, dared to venture.

Some of Bruce’s most notable risks and detours, after Cream, were not formally recorded, like his short-lived band with Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell and jazz-rock guitarist Larry Coryell and a ’75 troupe with ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and jazz composer-pianist Carla Bley. (The latter surfaced on a subsequent live release, Live at Manchester Free Trade Hall ’75.) Much of Bruce’s experimental life also remains elusive in the digital realm: Bruce’s striking vocal contributions to Bley’s 1971 jazz opera, Escalator Over the Hill, and on records by the composer-lyricist Michael Mantler are absent from Spotify – therefore, sadly, from this list.

But Bruce pursued a well-documented course through and outside rock, in a body of composition that recognized no borders. Start here, if you only know Cream, then stray far, every way you can – as he did.

Popular on Rolling Stone

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.