Earthworks(Bill Bruford’s) Earthworks

Earthwork (Bill Bruford) Earthworks
(1987) Editions EG label.  Purchased used at Rhino Records Claremont– I’m guessing in 2010?  Prog rock drummer Bill Bruford is extremely talented.  Like his contemporary Phil Collins, Bruford has a heavy jazz influence.  Unlike his contemporary Phil Collins, Bruford never traveled down the pop music road.  His talent and energy was much better suited to improvisation, experimentation, and collaboration with musicians that shared that sensibility.  This is not to say that Bruford has not enjoyed success: his work with King Crimson charted well.  This is the debut Earthworks album.  Earthworks are Bill Bruford on drums, percussion, whirled instruments; Django Bates on keyboards, tenor horn, trumpet; Iain Ballamy on soprano, alto, tenor saxophones; Mick Hutton acoustic bass.  No guitar… sorry Illinois…

side one

  1. Thud  (4:10)
  2. Making A Song And Dance  (5:52)
  3. Up North  (5:19)
  4. Pressure  (7:25)

side two

  1. My Heart Declares A Holiday  (4:35)
  2. Emotional Shirt  (4:45)
  3. It Needn’t End In Tears  (5:04)
  4. The Shepherd Is Eternal  (1:50)
  5. Bridge Of Inhibition  (4:15)

This album has that 80’s sound with a jazz intellect.  You hear it in the soaring horn work and the percussion often heard in music of that time: think Level 42 or Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop or Sting’s Dream Of The Blue Turtles.

Currently I am rewatching the episodic Ken Burns’ JAZZ.  I am not a musician.  I do not understand music at that level.  In JAZZ you listen to the experts talk in terms of composition, theme, tempo, scale, notes and chords etc… realizing there is a breadth of knowledge to music way beyond “I’ll give it a 65 Dick because I can’t dance to it”.  My appreciation for this record lies somewhere in between.  I have no wistful memories associated with this record. It has no chart toppers to readily identify.  I like this record similar to liking a foreign film.  You may not speak the language, but you can follow along with the subtitles and walk away after experiencing the film and feel elevated.

Earthworks(Bill Bruford’s) Earthworks

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