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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

concert review

Bill Bruford Quintet - Barcelona - June - 2000

Bill Bruford's name is something that means a lot. Without any doubt he is one of the most adored and respected musicians for all those who live influenced by such important works in which Bill's print is truly significant like "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" with Yes or "Lark's Tongues in Aspic", "Red", "Discipline" and "Thrak" with King Crimson, besides the huge number of solo projects and working collaborations with many other groups and musicians of genuine quality that have turned this percussionist's career into something brilliant and unique. It is also known that the influence of jazz has always run through his veins. In fact, it is because of jazz that he was born as a musician and it is also on jazz that his inimitable style is built. That's why Mr. Bruford has also happily developed an important career as a jazzman, creating his own band (Earthworks) and collaborating assiduously for many years, with people like Alan Holdsworth, Tony Levin, Jeff Berlin, Patrick Moraz., always adapting to the necessities of the different moments and musicians like a chameleon.

Well, on Monday the 17th we had the opportunity to enjoy his music, in a great concert part to a small tour that also includes virtuoso guitarist Larry Corryel and two members of his jazz band Earthworks and that has been introduced to the famous drummer's audience. If we talk about jazz and the city of Barcelona, the first concert place that we can think of is the Jamboree, one of the mythical places that, along with La cova del drac, have welcomed for many years most jazz events in the city. The Jamboree seems eternal and remains intact to time, it's the best place for it because it was conceived as a special kind of cave or cellar where jazz and funk styles have the most perfect atmosphere. It is located in the ancient area of the city. The performance was divided in two sessions, the first one starting at 9:00 in the evening and then until 1:00 o'clock. As usual, JP and I went to the concert place at the right time just to be able to enjoy the first session. At first, we were not able to get any good places to see the whole band because there are so many columns in the room and the area for the audience is very small due to it. But after a few minutes we did find the perfect places, sitting on the floor and located in a part where the columns framed Bill and his drum kit perfectly, only that, but we felt happy with it, anyway, was he not the person that we'd come to see?. And the performance began as we all expected: with a gentle rhythm, progressively catching the right "feeling", with musicians that showed that they are true virtuosos at their instruments, especially Larry Corryel. As the performance went on, the rhythm section got more and more stunning. Apart from Bill Bruford, his band mate at the double-bass held several moments of improvisation soloing during the pieces, showing all his talent and delighting everyone in the audience. Passion is really one of the main characteristics of jazz and it can only be proved by the way the musicians give everything on each note and by the joy they experience themselves and share with the audience. And it is this passion that seems to invade this great drummer every single moment. We just didn't miss any of his movements, hallucinating with his dexterity at the percussion's. A man who seems to be born for that, for effectiveness and above all, for the respect he seems to have for his instrument and which is enviable. "I am not a musician who hits the drums, and I have never been interested in that, I am not a showman. What has always interested me is the study and development of my instrument." Once the recording of the "Close to the edge" was over, Bill Bruford decided to leave Yes, that after the huge success of their previous work, "Fragile", had programmed a tour that included for the first time many of the biggest stadiums in the world. Yes had become in only one year a real monster, able to attract a big numbers of fans. It was then that Bill lost his interest in the band and decided to sacrifice the promising economical earning, to keep on experiencing and learning as a musician in King Crimson. I confirm once more that he has had a great importance in the history modern music. The performance went through some intense and touching moments, mainly in the parts where the musicians could show their instrumental skills on their own, and of course in those that saw this excellent drummer demonstrating us once again his abilities, caressing the drums in a fast and unique way. Lucky we were seated, otherwise we would have fallen on the chair. The session happened so quickly that our eyes and ears didn't even realized that it had finished. A grateful Bruford stood on the stage smiling to people that cheered and thanked him. Was there any progressive music? Well, we cannot say there wasn't. It's no doubt that a strong connection exists between the two styles and this made some moments and fragments in the pieces sound like a prog song. This experience was something different to the previous ones due to the room where it took place and for being a non-progressive concert, but it is always worth enjoying what these geniuses of music do, whatever they play.

Jordi Costa - July 2000

 

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