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New Edition of Bill's Autobiography

Date: 21.04.2013

"Bill Bruford -The Autobiography" continues to go from strength to strength. A second edition of the paperback has just been published by Foruli Publications with different photographs and layout, and an additional 1100 word Prologue from Bill. Signed copies are on pre-order from Burning Shed online shop. Unsigned copies available at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.


Bill filmed interview.

Date: 30.03.2013

A fresh filmed interview with Bill has just been posted at the excellent online magazine iDrum here.


The stories behind history's greatest rock bands.

Date: 27.11.2012

YES men Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman,Steve Howe and Bill Bruford get Close to the Edge On It’s 40th Anniversary ‘InTheStudio’.

The full interview can be streamed now.

Dallas, TX - Nov 26, 2012. North American syndicated Rock radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands gets a first hand account from YES current and former members Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, and Bill

Bruford about perhaps the pinnacle moment for progressive rock with the release forty years ago of YES Close to the Edge. Coming off the breakthrough success of the band’s Fragile album just nine months earlier, YES had now gained a level of

commercial capital that they intended to spend. It wouldn’t come in the form of three and a half minute pop songs, instead appearing as an album of only three songs. Close to the Edge would debut at # 3 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and crown YES as progressive rock royalty for decades to come. Jon Anderson tells In The Studio host Redbeard that the band did not intentionally aspire to create complex lengthy songs.


Second shop opens!

Date: 24.11.2012

Bill has opened a second multi-currency online shop stuffed to the hilt with all things Bruford, signed and unsigned. What with currency, exchange rate, shipping and tax hassles, the thinking is that this one may be more convenient for European and customers from the rest of the world outside North America. The North American shop continues to thrive, and wishes all its customers a happy holiday season. Not all items are necessarily in permanent stock in both shops all the time, but if you can't find what you want in one, it's probably in the other! Admin


All hardbacks now despatched

Date: 03.11.2012

Just to advise that all the When in Doubt, Roll! limited edition (blue) hardbacks, autographed and inscribed with your dedicated messages, have now been despatched from Los Angeles, CA. They're on the way! Many thanks to the folks at Foruli in the UK and to Amy who runs the shop in California, for making this happen.

If you missed the special edition, not to worry, the basic (red, pictured) paperback is available and in stock here.


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'Lighthouse' point the way.

Date: 14.02.2012

Those interested in state of the art acoustic fusion - and Lighthouse may have to forgive me for using the ‘f’ word - need look no further than this highly-skilled UK jazz trio. Comprising two ex-Earthworkers, pianist Gwilym Simcock and bass clarinet /saxophonist Tim Garland, the group is completed with the exciting Israeli-born Asaf Sirkis on drums. Lighthouse is positioned where I would have liked to have positioned Earthworks were the old ship still afloat, and had I the imagination, composing chops and a hang-drum, so there is a strong connection between the two groups on many levels.

One of the most interesting developments in adult rock and jazz has been the movement away from ‘notes’ and towards textures, timbres and treatments (see recent blog on 01.12.2011). Those who eschew that area and deal in the simpler, older acoustic realm of melody and harmony may appear, in relief, somewhat old-fashioned. Before their recent gig at the 606 Club in London’s Chelsea, I was a whisker apprehensive. Was this going to be a note-a-thon? They use a lot of notes, certainly, and some chords you can’t spell, but any concern I may have had in that respect evaporated with the sheer small-room velocity and dynamic hard-ball of the trio.

Their strengths are both compositional and improvisational. The compositions - particularly Garland’s ‘One Morning’ and Simcock’s ‘Barber’s Blues’ - inspired by a Samuel Barber piece he struggled with as a student at the elite Chetham's School of Music in Manchester UK - are beginning to adopt the episodic form of small classical miniatures from which at any minute might leap a fully orchestrated movement for large ensemble. All three are world class improvisors.

It’s not hard to see why Sirkis’ is in much demand in this environment. His kit - mirroring the compositional aspect of the group - abandons much of jazz’ standard legacy. Gone are toms, snare drum and sticks, replaced by three frame drums, hang-drum, bass Udu struck with hands or light egg-whisk beater-like items called Blaststicks or Hot Rods. He’s only got to fall over this instrument to sound different. Sirkis is a master at multi-metre intensity at pianissimo dynamic; his frame-drum sound is exotic and connected to another place and from another time. His touch is light; alternately fire and air. The mellifluous timbre of the hang-drum is exactly the sort of sound I was trying to extract from my reluctant electronic kit two decades ago. His understated support on the Welsh song Tawel Nawr was a master-class in rubato playing.

The absence of bass is a voluntary constraint presumably adopted on musical grounds. My sense was that Simcock, although prodigiously equipped with technical facility to deal with any constraints, felt too often that he had to provide the sort of lower-end support traditionally assigned the bass, to the detriment of a sense of unhurried melodic and harmonic development that he’s so good at when that function is adequately taken care of. Garland’s bass clarinet occasionally stepped in to provide superb growling support, but I’m an old-fashioned guy who loves an old-fashioned bass.

I never write about bands if I can possibly resist putting finger to keyboard. Lighthouse are irresistible. Hunt down their April release on the ACT label - called simply ‘Lighthouse’ - at www.bashorecords.com or one of those Amazon-type places. www.triolighthouse.com