Exposé Online banner

Bill Bruford / Tim Garland — Earthworks Underground Orchestra
(Summerfold BBSF 013CD, 2006, 2CD)

by Jeff Melton, Scott Steele, Published 2007-03-01

Earthworks Underground Orchestra Cover art

The peers of drummer/composer Bill Bruford are few and far between; only Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Will Calhoun, and Claudia Quartet mastermind John Hollenbeck spring to mind as drummers who compose these kinds of knotty leap-off points for world-class improvisers. Tim Garland is the talented co-conspirator who rearranged and re-imagined both the oldest EW material as well as several more recent tunes. Four prime cuts from Earthworks’ first recordings are presented in full nine-piece band arrangements, including “Up North” where the solos and last melody are much better stated at the end of the song. “Libreville” is a powerful samba in 15/8, where Garland’s re-arrangement is perfect. Best realized performances include “Pigalle” with the French themes coming through in Garland’s lead sax lines. “Bajo del Sol” has a fuller sound in this larger incarnation and it includes what might be Bruford’s best drum solo on record. “Speaking in Wooden Tongues” is a superb chart by Garland that is also played well by the entire band. “Footloose and Fancy Free” is rollicking. Earthworks is “a parculiarly (sic) British sort of institution” states Bruford himself. “There are also Americans in this band and we like the blend.” The special edition of the release also contains two additional tracks which round out the live performance and justify the additional expense. Bruford and Garland have created a live monster which needs to stretch its touring legs, but without higher profile label support or some other miracle, one can only hope for a live DVD to chronicle a new peak in Bruford’s career.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Bill Bruford / Earthworks, Tim Garland

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ancient Curse - The Landing – The strains of an acoustic guitar, a soft vocal, then comes the barrage. If I were to contain this review to only word, it would be: Metallica. Ancient Curse do not appear to make any claims at...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues