Jack Bruce

Live at the Canterbury Fayre

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Jack Bruce has never enjoyed the commercial success on his own that his early history, as lead singer and bassist with the Graham Bond Organisation and Cream, would've led one to expect. One of the most prominent bassists of the 1960s, rivaling Paul McCartney and John Entwistle in name recognition, he had a busy career in the 1970s but never broke through to stardom on his own in the way that fellow Cream bandmate Eric Clapton did. This 90-minute film, made at the 2002 Canterbury Fayre, captures Bruce in his element, roaring and surging away on his bass as well as occasionally carrying the melody on his four-stringed instrument, in tandem with guitarist Vernon Reid. Bruce's voice has held up reasonably well across the decades, and some of the rearrangements of familiar songs, such as "Theme for an Imaginary Western," "White Room," and "Politician," work well, and most of the rest showcases Bruce's more direct interest in jazz and blues. Not much of what's here is very commercial, although that's hardly a consideration -- Bruce simply indulges his interests in his favorite brands of music, for better or worse, and usually better. The show closes with an extended version of "Politician" that becomes pretty much a showcase for the entire six-piece band. There are a total of ten songs on the 90-minute show, the image is in full-screen, and the sound quality is in absolutely state-of-the-art 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound -- this show sounds incredible on speakers.

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