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After playing with Yes and King Crimson, drummer Bill Bruford took a large step toward jazz-rock and fusion with the establishment of his own group, simply named Bruford, in the late '70s.
He introduced the band, featuring a core lineup of himself on drums and percussion (including vibraphone) with keyboardist Dave Stewart (Egg, Hatfield and the North, National Health), guitarist Allan Holdsworth (Soft Machine, Gong, Tony Williams), and bassist Jeff Berlin, on Feels Good to Me, which also included appearances by singer Annette Peacock, flügelhornist Kenny Wheeler, and guitarist John Goodsall (Brand X).
Recorded at Trident Studios in London in 1977 (the same location and year that the drummer and his Bruford band guitarist Holdsworth recorded the debut disc by prog rock supergroup U.K. with John Wetton and Eddie Jobson) and released on Editions EG the following year, Feels Good to Me was both Bill Bruford's first solo album and the debut recording by Bruford the band, which issued a follow-up, One of a Kind, in 1979 (recorded at Trident in January of that year). One of a Kind featured a quartet lineup of the drummer/leader, Stewart, Holdsworth, and Berlin, but Holdsworth departed the band in spring of 1979, to be replaced by "the unknown" John Clark (whose phrasing and tone would prove to be remarkably similar to Holdsworth's) for 1980's Gradually Going Tornado, notable also for bassist Berlin stepping out on vocals.
A live 1979 New York City radio broadcast of the Bruford band (also featuring Clark on guitar) saw release as The Bruford Tapes in 1980, but the group disbanded by September of that year, reportedly in the face of pressure from Editions EG management, who were less than pleased with the band's financial situation. The following year, Bill Bruford joined the new version of King Crimson with Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, and Tony Levin. The drummer's work with his namesake band would reappear on disc in 1986, however, taking up a lion's share of the compilation Master Strokes: 1978-1985. In the mid-'80s Bill Bruford began leading another group, Earthworks, which moved even more strongly in a jazz direction, premiering with an eponymous album in 1987. ~ Dave Lynch, Rovi


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