Recently, we lost one of the great icons of rock, Jack Bruce. While so much has already been written about his accomplishments in music whether it be his songs or his playing, I would be remiss if I didn’t express how much of an inspiration Jack Bruce was to me personally.
As a young man just starting out in music at 14 years of age, his impact on me was huge. So much so, that I was moved to play bass guitar directly because of his tremendous sound, his amazing playing and just the overall coolness of “Jack Bruce “. Although I eventually chose guitar as my main instrument, his impact on me to be able to lay down a groove became part of the foundation for my musical abilities today.
Recently, I decided to update my guitar collection while recording the new cd “Resonate” and chose to purchase a Gibson Jack Bruce style bass. It immediately took me back to those seminal days of great tones and playing. I then used the guitar in several of the bass parts on the new songs.
It was a bizarre coincidence that within 2 weeks of owning the Jack Bruce bass and relishing the familiar and cool sounds, the news came in about his passing. Very, very sad.
So I say ‘ Thank You Jack Bruce ‘ for all the music, inspiration and spirit you gave to so many of us. God Bless…
Thoughts and reminiscences about Jack from many artists and musicians are on the jackbruce.com website. His family is receiving donations to Jack’s chosen charity of a children’s hospice organization and also encouraging musicians he inspired to sign the Jack Bruce memorial guestbook.
Jack Bruce Trivia
- Jack played jazz bass in his teens and won a scholarship to a music academy for cello and music composition. The college found out that Jack was playing in a jazz band and gave him an ultimatum to stop playing in the band or leave the college. He left the college.
- In 1962, Jack Bruce played in a band called Blues Incorporated of the London music scene. He played upright bass and incorporated jazz into his bass lines.
- His approach to the bass was similar to a claw-like picking approach. His experience playing jazz, the upright bass and the veena (an Indian fretted instrument) contributed to his fiery left hand technique.
- In 1966, Cream was formed with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton. They parted ways in 1968.
Below is an interview with Jack Bruce where he talks about how he had to undo his musical training in order to truly excel in improvisation. He also talks about how the band Cream was formed.
Below is a video of early days Cream, right around the time when Jack Bruce became my hero.