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Bruford, Bill: The Winterfold Collection 1978-1986/The Summerfold Collection 1987-2008

With little fanfare a simple and concise press release at the turn of the year announced that effective January 1st 2009 Bill Bruford was retiring from live performance. No specific reason was given for the decision but the tone indicated it was final and sincere. Naturally it is a pity to see Bruford bow out but after 41 years behind the kit and an impressive and diverse career it is comforting that at least he is departing on his own terms. A lengthy CV of bands and collaborators should ensure Bruford's forthcoming autobiography is a fascinating read and the ideal companion piece to these timely, career-spanning, anthologies. The Winterfold Collection 1978 - 1986 highlights selections from albums such as Feels Good To Me, One Of A Kind, Gradually Going Tornado and his partnership with another former Yes man, Patrick Moraz. Earthworks and his collaborations with pianist Michel Borstlap are the focus of the more expansive, two disc, The Summerfold Collection 1987 - 2008. And whilst completists may mourn the absence of any Yes, Genesis, King Crimson or UK selections there is plenty here to explore and enjoy with his versatility as both a drummer and composer much in evidence.

Highlights on Winterfold include the riff driven, scorching jams of 'Hells Bell' and 'Sample and Hold' and the offbeat grooves of 'Blue Brains' from the Bruford / Moraz partnership. Other contributors include Allan Holdsworth, Dave Stewart and Jeff Berlin, who all excel on the Crimson-like 'Back To The Beginning'. It was with Earthworks that Bruford was finally able to concentrate his energies into what is undoubtedly his true passion; jazz. Despite all of the prog giants he has played with Earthworks always seems to be the project closest to his heart and is well documented on Summerfold; the sedate 'Pilgrims Way', the smooth arrangement of 'It Needn't End In Tears' and the ambient styling of 'Nerve' showcasing the bands adaptability. This aside the improvised duets with Borstlap are a sheer delight and this really is quintessential Bruford who, of course, is at the heart of every piece. The marathon tribal percussion piece 'Baye Kene N'Diaye' gives a whole new aspect to the term drum solo and the intense fusion of 'Beelzebub' provides an uplifting finale.

His place in musical history is assured and that Bruford will be missed is unquestionable. These collections offer a welcome opportunity to raise a glass in admiration and wish him a long and happy retirement.

Track Listing
The Winterfold Collection 1978 - 1986
Disc 1
1. Back to the Beginning
2. Seems Like A Lifetime Ago Pt.1
3. Seems Like A Lifetime Ago Pt.2
4. Hell's Bells
5. Travels with Myself, and Someone Else
6. Age of Information
7. The Sliding Floor
8. Symmetry
9. Blue Brains
10. Flags
11. Everything You've Heard is True
12. Sample and Hold
13. Adios a la Pasada

The Summerfold Collection 1987 - 2008
Disc 1
1. Up North
2. My Heart Declares a Holiday
3. Pilgrim's Way
4. Stromboli Kicks
5. Temple of the Winds
6. Candles Still Flicker in Romania's Dark
7. Nerve
8. It NeednŐt End in Tears
9. If Summer Had Its Ghosts
10. Thistledown
11. Dewey-Eyed, then Dancing
12. No Truce with the Furies
Disc 2
1. Revel Without a Pause
2. The Sound of Surprise
3. The 16 Kingdoms of the 5 Barbarians
4. Kinship
5. From the Source, We Tumble Headlong
6. Baye Kene N'Diaye
7. Footloose and Fancy Free
8. Come To Dust
9. White Knuckle Wedding
10. Beelzebub

Added: February 26th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1191
Language: english

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