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Bill Bruford’s Earthworks: Video Anthology

Perhaps it’s because of his old prog-rock associations (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis), or the fact that he’s British, but drummer Bill Bruford has been undervalued as a jazz bandleader ever since his band Earthworks’ 1987 debut. The two-volume Video Anthology chronicles everything from the forward-thinking group’s initial setup, with Bruford’s electronic Simmons drums in a mostly acoustic lineup, to 2005, with bassist Laurence Cottle as the only electric musician.

The more recent shows, between 2001 and 2005, are featured on Vol. 1. Introductory footage from the old Bottom Line in New York City features material from the stellar 2001 studio CD, The Sound of Surprise, by the all-acoustic lineup of saxophonist Patrick Clahar, pianist Steve Hamilton, bassist Mark Hodgson and Bruford. The inventive drummer’s solo intro on “Triplicity” showcases his latest drum kit invention, in which all four tom-toms are flat, level with his snare drum, and a mirror image of one another to either side.

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