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Bill Bruford releases exclusive live album

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‘Tis the season, apparently, for exclusive online-sales-only releases. With the news last week of a strictly limited edition Charlie Hunter/Bobby Previte album, yesterday’s news of, again, a strictly limited edition T.J. Kirk live album, the Mars Volta releasing a limited-availability Live EP to a very select few stores (both online and off,) it appears that bands have finally gotten the message that fans will respond to weird little releases that might not otherwise find a home on a regular label. Today I bring you news of a – yes, you guessed it – strictly limited edition online-sales-only live album by Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Random Acts of Happiness. (It should be noted that this live album is slated for “general release” in March, 2004 – but why wait?) The live disc features not only the debut of new sax/flute/clarinet-ist Tim Garland, it also features some older Bruford/Earthworks tunes that have been overlooked by this latest quartet. See for yourself:

My Heart Declares a Holiday
White Knuckle Wedding
Turn and Return

Bajo del Sol
Seems Like a Lifetime Ago [ Part 1] Modern Folk
With Friends like These….
Speaking with Wooden Tongues
One of a Kind [ Part 1 ] One of a Kind [ Part 2 ]

Price is $13.99 and $3.00 for shipping (could be more, depending on where you live.) Pay it, I doubt you’ll regret it if it’s half as good as all of Earthworks’ recent material. And you’ll likely be the first on your block to have it. (Like you wouldn’t probably have been the only on your block to own it anyway.)

(Be the first on your block to check out unproducitivity.)

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About Tom Johnson

  • i’ll have to pick this one up. i’ve got that other live Earthworks disc…in fact, i was at the show where some of it was recorded (at the now defunct Nightstage, in cambridge, ma.)

    it was a great show…and funny as hell to see Django Bates literally banging his forehead on the keyboard!

  • duane

    Tom, I know some of Bruford’s work quite well: Yes, Genesis, UK, Bruford, King Crimson, and I have seen him live twice, most recently in LA a few years back with the double trio configuration of KC. But I have not heard any Earthworks. Can you briefly describe the music? Maybe compare it to Bruford or KC? I s’pose it’s jazzier, but I want to know if it kicks any buttox.

  • Earthworks, in its current incarnation, is a completely acoustic jazz ensemble. The best I can liken it to is Dave Brubeck, because the jazz tends to be “lighter” (absolutely not to say that it’s “lite jazz” by any means) and there’s a strong emphasis on melody over some intriguing, complex structures. I always get a very uplifting feeling from Earthworks – it’s playful and yet earnest and meaningful. Chops are on display much of the time, but not at the expense of melody. It’s some of the more fun and consistently rewarding recent jazz I have in my collection.

    The earlier Earthworks shares the same spirit as the new band, but it relied more heavily on electric instruments (drums, keyboards, etc.) The live album they put out, Stomping Grounds is excellent.

  • Earthworks is definitely hard to categorize…while it is jazz…it somehow manages to sound quite a bit different than most acoustic jazz that i’ve listened to.

    and while there are some chops on display, it never really leans toward fusion.

    hey tom, ever heard the first record that Bruford did with Moraz? “Music For Piano and Drums”? it’s out of print…just criminal!