Jack Bruce – Born To Be Blue

Jack Bruce – Born To Be Blue (1971)

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  1. (From the same songwriting team that gave us "The Christmas Song," Mel Torme and Robert Wells.)
    If I recall correctly, this track, and the rest of the LP, was recorded late '68, early '69, just after the breakup of Cream; it was Bruce's chance to decompress from that experience by going back to his Jazz background on acoustic bass… and it was'nt released for another 2-3 years.
    He started out with fellow John Mayall' Bluesbreakers alums (although at different times from that School of Blues/Rock) Dick Heckstall-Smith, sax, and Jon Hiseman, drums, and the sessions were joined in progress by a pre-Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, presumably back home after a tour with Tony Williams' Lifetime or (more likely) Miles Davis.
    (Bruce and McLaughlin had been members, years before, of the Graham Bond Organization, led by alto sax-player Graham Bond and featuring a drummer named Ginger Baker.)
    Obviously, a very collegial endeavor, and a real chance for Heckstall-Smith to channel his "inner-Getz…"
    …and a chance for chops-monster McLaughlin to show that he could comp as well as anyone, and better than most.
    This LP (which I am convinced was never intended for release, it was therapy as much as anything) was released in tandem with Bruce's 2nd solo LP, "Harmony Row," late '71, early '72, to capitalize on McLaughlin's presence on it, the Mahavishnu Orchestra having caught fire at that moment.
    Rolling Stone reviewed the two records in tandem, and concluded the appreciative evaluation of this one with an hilariously laconic statement:
    "If you like Cream, you may not like this."
    Let me simply add:
    If you really "got" Cream, you may LOVE this.

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