Remembering Jack Bruce: Performing Live With Big Blues Band In 2011
Today marks six years since legendary bassist and singer-songwriter Jack Bruce died. Bruce is perhaps most well known for his brief time in the groundbreaking power-trio Cream. But after the group disbanded in 1968, Bruce would go on to have a successful solo career and lead a number of bands up until his death on October 25, 2014.
One of the groups Jack fronted toward the end of his life was Jack Bruce & His Big Blues Band. On June 30, 2011, the eight-piece featuring Bruce (bass, vocals, keys), Tony Remy (guitar), Frank Tontoh (drums), Paddy Milner (keys), Nicholas Cohen (bass), Paul Newton (trumpet), Paul Fisher (trombone) and Martin Dale (saxophone) took the stage at the Lugano Jazz Festival in the picturesque Piazza Della Riforma in Lugano, Switzerland. Even as he neared 70, Bruce’s iconic operatic voice was powerful and his musical prowess both as a multi-instrumentalist and as a bandleader on full display.
The festival appearance — which would later be made into a concert film — featured songs Bruce composed throughout his career along with blues standards. Bruce let the band kick off the concert with one of those blues standards, “Everyday I Have The Blues,” a song recorded by many artists inducing Count Baise Orchestra and B.B. King, followed by the traditional “Iko Iko.” Jack joins the fun three songs in for a few tunes from his solo career including “Theme For An Imaginary Western” and “Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune,” both co-writes with collaborator and lyricist Pete Brown appearing on Jack’s 1969 solo debut, Songs For A Tailor. Bruce ends the set with material from his Cream days including “White Room” and “Sunshine Of Your Love.”
To remember Jack Bruce, watch the legendary musician with his Big Blues Band at the 2011 Lugano Jazz Festival for this edition of Sunday Cinema: