In Memoriam | Bassist Jack Bruce 1943 – 2014

By Scott Bernstein Oct 25, 2014 8:00 am PDT

We’re sad to report that legendary bassist Jack Bruce has died. Bruce was best known for his work with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker as a member of seminal rock band Cream in the late ’60s. The Scottish native brought a power, flair and old-fashioned sensibility to his bass parts that hadn’t been seen until he came along. Jack was also a fine songwriter who co-wrote such storied songs as “Sunshine Of Your Love,” “White Room” and “I Feel Free” with Pete Brown. Bruce died of liver disease according to Press Association.

Jack Bruce’s death was announced by his family on the bassist’s official website, Facebook and Twitter pages. “It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts,” reads the note posted on

One of Jack’s first big gigs was as part of the pioneering London-based band Blues Incorporated, fronted by the great Alexis Korner. It was as a member of Blues Incorporated where he first shared the stage with Ginger Baker and soon after formed the Graham Bond Quartet with Bond, Baker and guitarist John McLauglin. Bruce later joined John Mayall and his John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers group, which at the time featured Eric Clapton. Clapton, Baker and Bruce formed Cream in July of 1966 and by the time the trio broke up just two years later they had turned the rock world on its ear. Cream sold an unbelievable 35 million records in two years before making the decision to go out at the top of their game in 1968 (though they did reunite for a series of 2005 concerts in New York City and London). Jack then went on to have a successful and critically-acclaimed solo career. One of his last gigs was a a member of Spectrum Road, a band that also featured Vernon Reid, Cindy Blackman and John Medeski.

Jack Bruce was 71 years old. Bruce’s publicist has confirmed the news to the BBC, who added “He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family.”

UPDATE: Bruce’s Cream band mates Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton each weighed in on Jack’s passing:

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