Remembering Jack Bruce: The Jack Bruce Band & Mick Taylor Perform On ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’


Jack Bruce was a pioneer. He disregarded notions of what a rock bass player should be and provided a melodic foil to Eric Clapton in Cream. In 2011, Rolling Stone readers named Bruce the eighth-best bass player of all-time.

The classically trained Bruce also thumbed his nose at what rock vocals should sound like. He brought an operatic singing style that blended perfectly with the blues. While he is most well known for his work with Cream, Jack made music up until his death at the age of 71 on this date (October 25) in 2014.

Bruce released his fourth solo album, Out Of The Storm, in 1974. For the subsequent tour, Jack put together a band that included Mick Taylor, who had just left The Rolling Stones, and renowned jazz keyboardist Carla Bey whom Bruce had collaborated with previously.

While the group didn’t last long, The Jack Bruce Band made a television appearance on The BBC’s The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1975 that has survived for posterity. To remember Jack, JamBase takes a look at that performance.

The Jack Bruce Band kicked off their set with two tracks from Bruce’s 1971 solo album Harmony Row: “Can You Follow?” and “Morning Story.” The band then got into material from Out Of the Storm with “Keep It Down,” “Pieces Of Mind” and “One.” A song called “Spirit” follows for which Bruce would name his BBC compilation in 2008.

“Without A Word,” which would subsequently appear on Bruce’s 1977 album How’s Tricks, came next before the band returned to Harmony Row with “Smiles And Grins” to close out the performance. Check it out in its entirety below:

The Jack Bruce Band Old Grey Whistle Test Tracklist:

  • Can You Follow 00:20
  • Morning Story 02:15
  • Keep It Down 07:35
  • Pieces Of Mind 13:00
  • One 19:05
  • Spirit 25:40
  • Without A Word 33:15
  • Smiles And Grins 42:10