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Jack Bruce

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Flyboyandy, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Flyboyandy


    Nov 26, 2018
    Syracuse, NY
    I watched for the second time last night a reunion of Cream in about 2005. I found that Jack Bruce was a good bass player and sang really well while playing, but the sound wasn't that great. His tone was a little off for my taste. Was he considered a very good bass player?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    An exceedingly fine one, by some of us. Do you mean you didn't like his tone, or are you saying you thought his intonation was off or something? I don't recall the latter, will have to re-listen.
    hintz, BazzaBass, lermgalieu and 6 others like this.
  3. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    He was a groundbreaking player, had a background in classical and jazz with upright bass(and cello). He helped forge a new path in rock bass in the 60’s, moving beyond simple I/V and major/minor triad lines, into ‘lead bass’ concepts, similar to Entwistle, and later Squire. His sound/tone was by default, as he favored Gibson short scale EB3s with hot pickups, into the only British amp loud enough that was available at the time, a Marshall Superbass. Not exactly hi-fidelity, but he worked with it, and it became his unmistakable tone. Granted, in ‘05 he used Hartkes, but a similar Gibson bass(EB1), so he came close to delivering his signature Cream sound(not to disappoint the nostalgia audience, but Clapton was a different story). His solo era stuff was a contrast over the years.
  4. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    The sound you hear on a recording of him is part what he put out of his rig, part what the engineers did to his sound later while capturing, recording, and mixing it. If it sounds "off" on a particular recording, it may not be something he had control over.
    Rich48, mjmeche and Fergie Fulton like this.
  5. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    If you want to encounter Cream in their heyday, I'd actually avoid the '68 Farewell show long form video as it features echo-y audio and grainy, effect-laden visuals(plus they were racing to get through it). It may be worth viewing once, but these shorter clips will give you a better idea of what they were all about...

    this was live on TV, but Eric was not allowed to crank his amp, and sounds anemic...

    You'll notice all sorts of videos that are actually audio only, "bootlegs", plenty of great live performances, but beware the sound quality on many of them.
    Not long after Cream broke up, here he is in an entirely different context...
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I've always been partial to his overdriven sound on Live Cream Volume II. Wore out a couple of copies as a kid.

    Edit: Still makes me :bassist: after all these years!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  7. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    To answer your question, yes he was/is considered one of the best ever, a groundbreaking artist of the highest caliber.
  8. Jack Bruce was a giant of a bass player breaking ground for us all today
    We stand on higher ground today because of bass players like Jack Bruce
    What are you doing for tomorrows bass players?
    Ronzo, Wisebass, bobyoung53 and 5 others like this.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Bassist, vocalist, pianist, harmonica player...a master.
    As a young bass owner, "Crossroads" blew my mind. If I happen to catch it on the Classic Rock station...it will still bring a smile to my face.
    As a more mature, older bass owner that binged on Free Jazz in the early 2000s, this album blew me away...
    Haroldo, Ronzo, Wisebass and 8 others like this.
  10. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Ronzo, bobyoung53, ahc and 6 others like this.
  11. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Was attending a party last weekend, Cream came on the background music during a room wide lull. I looked up at the host and said ‘Jack Bruce’ a few feet away. It sparked a conversation about the Cream players, obstensibly not Eric. Surprised that most of the thirty somethings knew Jack and his exploits well. Monster player, under appreciated in my book for his contributions.
    Ronzo, bobyoung53, BazzaBass and 4 others like this.
  12. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    He had also just received a liver transplant at the time, so give the guy a break. he was sick, and had been for ages.
    oldrocker likes this.
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Not to mention he was one heckuva song writer as well.
    ahc, dbsfgyd1, 123321 and 1 other person like this.
  14. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I met Jack several times in the early 2000s when he was playing on the "Walk Down Abbey Road" Tour with Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Alan Parsons, Mark Farner, Godfrey Townsend and Steve Murphy. He replaced John Entwistle when The Who was getting ready to tour. The band I was in at the time was managed by Mark Farner's road manager so we were able to go to a lot of shows and meet some great musicians. The first time I saw Jack play, he was having a bad night, lots of mistakes. The second night, he was great and it was easy to see why he is considered one of the best ever. I never saw him have a bad night after that. He had the right sound for Cream and his down was different during the "Walk Down Abbey Road" tour.
    IamGroot, TuneIn, 123321 and 3 others like this.
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    The song makes me cry even without the dedication to Felix. :bawl::crying:
  16. Odinbass


    Dec 6, 2006
    Cleveland, OH
    I wasn't a fan of that violin bass he used in the '05 shows. I agree it's sound was lacking.

    However in the latter part of that concert DVD he busts out his fretless Warwick. That thing is amazing and he sounds so good playing it. He used it in his solo career for a long time and I always loved the sound.

    Wisebass, ScottB., IamGroot and 4 others like this.
  17. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    If Jack Bruce’s playing doesn’t wow you I propose that you aren’t conversant with the fact that much of what’s ordinary today was groundbreaking when Jack was a younger player (1960s-1970s) and he was a guy who broke that musical ground. Then, having broken through, he continued expanding his style and range.
  18. I love Jack’s work and I love Gibson EBs.
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Got this album the same day I got my 1st bass...the whole thing seemed impossible.
    bobyoung53, Eikari, woodyng2 and 5 others like this.
  20. pht2356


    Apr 28, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Imo, easily among top 10
    bobyoung53, Slinger, lowendrv and 2 others like this.

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