Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bryn Fortey Enters the 1940's Contest

Recently the New Yorker published an appreciation of progressive rock, and this summer/fall one of the contests will honor musicians born in the 1940s, so tonight is a good evening to post Bryn Fortey's tribute to Bill Bruford.  Bruford was not only a drummer for Yes, King Crimson, and other bands but also a jazz musician, leading the band Earthworks and playing with Al Di Meola, Michiel Borstrap, Kazumi Watanabe, and others.

(Born: May 17, 1949)

For Bill Bruford
A drummer whose musical interests
Would fill a book
It began and ended with jazz

The BBC2 programme JAZZ625
Was his introduction
Playing brushes on LP covers
While he listened and watched
And the jazz group EARTHWORKS
Was his last major enterprise
Prior to his retirement from performing

In between came the pomp and excesses
In various line-ups and reunions
Also touring with GENESIS
And more side projects
Than you could throw a cocked hat at

An early interest in electronic drumming
Was put on hold while he waited
For the technology to catch up
With what he wanted from them  
But he had reverted to acoustic by the end

In retirement he has continued
To run his records labels
And studied music at university

Musically restless
Bill Bruford was always willing to go
Wherever his inventive nature took him

Bryn Fortey

Bryn also draws our attention to the Ganelan Trio, a group of Russian jazz musicians.


Born out of the unique circumstances
Of pre-Gorbachev Russia
Three classically trained musicians
Who combined in a part-free/part-composed music
Under the influence of such as
Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane

Pianist Vyacheslav Ganelin (born 1944)
Saxophonist Vladimir Chekasin and
Percussionist Vladimir Tarasov (both 1947)

Between them they composed and taught
Directed a conservatory orchestra
Played in a symphony orchestra
And blended all their Russian roots and training
With the jazz they heard on
Voice of America radio broadcasts
And expensively imported records

The Trio played European festivals
And toured both America and Britain
Making people aware of Russian interpretations
Of improvisational free-music.

Bryn Fortey 

By Source, Fair use,

At one point, Bill Bruford was with a group called Gong:

Here he is with Earthworks, playing "Triplicity":

This is his "Up North," also with Earthworks:

"Melanchoe" is with Kazumi Watanabe and Jeff Berlin:

Here is a live recording of the Ganelin Trio from 1976:

This live performance of "Priority" is from 2005:


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