What drives Jack Bruce?
If you asked Jack what he was, what he is, first and foremost he would say he’s a composer. He wouldn’t say he’s a singer or a bass player or a bandleader. He’d say he’s a composer, and from that point of view, you can be composing new songs, new albums, forever until you can’t do it anymore. And a good chunk of why I wrote this book, what I was trying to get across to people—in amongst all the stories about rock ‘n’ roll mayhem, which people like to read and that’s fair enough—is the fact that this guy had a forty-year music career. Cream was less than two years. And he has this hugely impressive catalogue of music that I really want people to just go out and listen to. Get a feel for some of the things that are mentioned, some of the musicians he worked with, some of the routes he took. Even reasonably well-versed Jack Bruce fans might not have picked on the albums that he did with Kip Hanrahan and all the Latin guys, which is completely different from the West, Bruce, and Laing and the BBM and the heavy rock kind of thing. He’s done opera, he’s done avant-garde jazz, he’s done big-band stuff. He’s just got this huge breadth, which means in some ways it’s been difficult for people who enjoy his music to keep up, really, because he just dives away into all these different highways and tangents. If something sounds interesting and different, he goes for it. As with all very intelligent, creative people, Jack gets bored very quickly with things and wants to move on to other things.
Jack Bruce: Composing Himself - The Authorised Biography by Harry Shapiro is published by Jawbone Press, 2010.