Exposé Online banner

Bill Bruford's Earthworks — Random Acts of Happiness
(Summerfold SFVP001CD, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-09-01

Random Acts of Happiness Cover art

It has been said that jazz is all about Swing. I’ll go along with that — as long as I get to define Swing my own way. Swing is more than just a particular rhythmic feel; Swing, to me, is an attitude toward the music, an attitude that says everything is open to interpretation, even the beat. Swing is about improvisation, and while rock and other genres may feature improvisation, the beat is not subject to interpretation. In rock (for the most part), the beat is master to the music, and if you forget that, you’re not rocking! Paradoxically, this fact leads to jazz having a Groove. Other genres can Groove, but they arrive at it from a different direction. Anyway, all this gets around to my amazement at Bill Bruford’s drumming. Long ago he earned his place as one of the great rock drummers of all time, and his precision is legendary. We learned some time ago that his heart was more inclined toward jazz, and through the various Earthworks incarnations, he has proved that he also ranks as one of the great jazz drummers. He’s also the kind of leader who surrounds himself with supremely talented cohorts and gives them room to shine. Another amazing thing about Bruford (as if there wasn’t already enough) is his skill as a composer. From the (perhaps) overly complicated tunes of his early solo days, he has grown to master the balance between complexity and Groove, producing truly outstanding music that satisfies from all angles.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 32, 2004 releases

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

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Level ∏ - Entrance – Level π is kind of an oddball release for Garden of Delights as they specialize in releasing reissues and archive recordings of little known German bands from the late 60s and 70s. In this case,...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues