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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Bruce’

RIP, Jack Bruce (October 25, 2014) Bassist For Cream

Posted by themusicsover on October 25, 2014

John “Jack” Bruce
May 14, 1943 – October 25, 2014

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As the founding bassist, songwriter and singer for the psychedelic rock trio, Cream, Jack Bruce will be remembered as one of popular music’s greatest bass players.  Formed with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker in 1966, Cream quickly formed a legion of fans thanks to their powerful hybrid of hard rock, electric blues, and psychedelic rock. Like no other group before or since, each instrument was as prominent as the other to the point where Bruce’s bass, Clapton’s guitar, and Baker’s drums could be called the “lead” instrument.  Even though they recorded only four albums across the span of just two years, Cream is regarded as one the most successful and influential “supergroups” of all time.  Their third album, Wheels Of Fire was the world’s first platinum double album.  Born into a musical family, Bruce took a shine to jazz bass early and eventually earned a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he supported himself during by playing in a local jazz band.  In 1962, he joined the Graham Bond Organisation where he met Baker.  After leaving the band in 1965, Bruce released a solo album and then joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers where he met Clapton, who he recruited for his new band.  After Cream broke up, Bruce released several solo albums and collaborated with numerous rock and jazz fusion artists before reuniting with Cream in 1993 for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and again in 2005 for a series of successful shows at the Royal Albert Hall  in London and Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Bruce continued to record and perform live until his passing from liver disease on October 25, 2014.  He was 71.

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Died On This Date (January 7, 1964) Cyril Davies / British Blues Musician

Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012

Cyril Davies
January 23, 1932 – January 7, 1964

Cyril Davies was one of the pioneers of the British blues movement of the 1960s.  He began his career during the ’50s when he actually played the banjo in an acoustic skiffle group.  He soon switched to the harmonica, eventually becoming Britain’s first Chicago blues style player.  In 1962, he and fellow musician, Alexis Korner, opened the popular Ealing Club.  It was there that they founded Blues Incorporated, a highly influential electric blues band that counted Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Charlie Watts as members over the years.   The club became hangout for up-and-coming musicians like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Eric Burden who generally ended up jamming together by the end of the night.   Cyril Davies was 31 when he died on January 7, 1964.  Cause of death was either leukemia, lung cancer or pleurisy, depending upon your source.

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Died On This Date (August 2, 1983) James Jamerson / Bassist On Many Early Motown Hits; The Funk Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on August 2, 2010

James Jamerson
January 29, 1936 – August 2, 1983

jamersonBorn in South Carolina, James Jamerson moved to Detroit where learned to play the bass in high school.  He soon started playing in the local jazz and blues clubs and by the early ’60s, he was working at Berry Gordy’s studio.  He, along with some of popular music’s greatest musicians were called the Funk Brothers and they can be heard on nearly every Motown record throughout the ’60s.  Jamerson played on literally hundreds of Motown songs including such hits as “My Girl” (the Temptations), “You Can’t Hurry Love (the Supremes), “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Gladys Knight), and “What’s Goin’ On” (Marvin Gaye).   It has been said that Jamerson played on more #1 pop hits than the Beatles, who own that actual record.   Many of the world’s greatest bass players have pointed to Jamerson as their main influence.  That list includes John Entwistle, John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney, and Jack Bruce.  Jamerson and Motown parted company in 1973 after which, he found work playing on such disco hits as “Boogie Fever” and “Don’t Rock The Boat.”   A longtime drinker,  James Jamerson died of cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure and pneumonia at the age of 47.

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Died On This Date (July 21, 2005) Long John Baldry / British Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 21, 2010

John Baldry
January 12, 1941 – July 21, 2005

Long John Baldry was an English born (and later Canadian) blues singer who played a pivotal role in the British blues rock scene of the 1960s.  A towering presence at 6′-7”, Baldry was nicknamed Long John and had a booming voice to go with it.  He was one of the first British singers of note to perform in blues clubs.  As part of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated during the early ’60s, Baldry sang on the first ever British blues album, R&B From The Marquee.  During those early years, Baldry performed with a who’s who of future rock superstars including Rod Stewart, Jack Bruce, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.  In fact, it is Baldry voice you hear introducing the Rolling Stones on their album Got Live If You Want It.  In 1967, Baldry released the single, “Let The Heartaches Begin” which shot to #1 on the UK charts.  Not long after, he found himself consoling a distraught Elton John (with whom he performed in Bluesology) who had tried to commit suicide after a failed relationship with a woman.  Baldry, who was openly gay, talked John out of marrying the woman and helped him come to terms with his sexuality.  John returned the favor by writing one of his beloved songs, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” about Baldry.  Baldry eventually migrated to and became a citizen of Canada where he continued to make records and launched a lucrative career as a voice-over actor.  His final album, 1997’s Right To Sing The Blues earned the Juno Award for Best Blues Album.  But his voice could still be heard in animated features until 2003.  Long John Baldry died of a lung infection on July 21, 2005.  He was 64.

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It Still Ain't Easy - Long John Baldry

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Died On This Date (July 3, 1969) Brian Jones / The Rolling Stones

Posted by themusicsover on July 3, 2010

Brian Jones
February 28, 1942 – July 3, 1969

brian-jonesMember of the 27 Club

Brian Jones was a multi-instrumentalist who is most famously known as founding member and guitarist for the Rolling Stones.  By the age of 17, Jones was already adept at the clarinet and saxophone and had taken up the guitar.   While in high school, Jones got his then 14 year-old girlfriend Valerie Corbett pregnant and was forced to leave the school in shame.  When he announced to Corbett that he wanted her to have an abortion, she refused and broke up with him for good.  After the child’s birth, Corbett gave him to an infertile couple who apparently never learned  the identity of the boy’s father.  Corbett later married a friend of Jones.   By the early ’60s, Jones was in London where he became immersed in he local blues scene, playing with the likes of Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce and Bill Wyman.  In a short time, he was forming the nucleus of what would become the Rolling Stones who played their first gig on July 12, 1962.   When the group eventually began recording, it was Jones’ exceptional abilities on various instruments that would help define the Rolling Stones sound.  As the band’s fame and fortune grew, tension between Jones and the other members followed the same trajectory.  By all accounts, his growing addiction to various drugs and alcohol didn’t help.  By the summer of 1968, Jones was barely contributing to the band’s recordings, his final participation being on Beggars Banquet before parting ways the following year.  By all appearances, his life was on a downward spiral due to his drug dependency, his estrangement from the band that he had created, as well as his growing legal and financial troubles.  On the night of July 3, 1969, Brian Jones was found unconscious (and perhaps dead) at the bottom of his swimming pool.  As expected, there are many theories about the mysterious death of Brian Jones. Was it suicide?  An accident?  Did his bad heart or liver simply give out as the coroner stated?  Or was he perhaps murdered by a worker at the house?  Years later, that builder, Frank Thorogood allegedly confessed to the murder on his deathbed.  Although that “confession” was made to one-time Rolling Stones driver, Tom Keylock, many doubt its validity since there were no witnesses to the “murder” or the “confession.”

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Aftermath - The Rolling Stones

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