When Bill Bruford
emerged from Yes
, his reputation as a drumming legend was firmly established. He then went on to refine and expand his individual technique and style with King Crimson
. His solo career, while not as commercially successful as those bands, has also been impressive. His explorations with Allan Holdsworth
continued to carry the fusion torch with dignity. Never one to rest on his laurels, Bruford
continued to search for different contexts in which to express his musical and percussive ideas. This effort, with his band Earthworks, is a solid effort. The contrast between the traditional horns (saxophone and french horn) sounds awkward against the electronic percussion and synthesizer that is used heavily throughout the session. There is an ECM feel to most of the selections here, especially with respect to Ralph Towner
's Blue Sun recording (in particular the tune "C.T. Kangaroo"). "Gentle Persuasion" is one of the more melodic songs on this set, and along with "Downtown," is the only one that leaves a lasting impression. Bruford
was definitely onto something with this band, which despite having more than a few dull moments, is worth exploring.