Silver Rails

Silver Rails

by Jack Bruce


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Silver Rails is Jack Bruce's first solo studio album since 2003's fine More Jack Than God. Bruce recorded the set at Abbey Road with producer Rob Cass and collaborated with a dazzling array of musicians. Notably, he brought back John Medeski and Cindy Blackman Santana from the Spectrum Road project -- a tribute band to the Tony Williams Lifetime -- which released its own album in 2012. He also enlisted son Malcolm Bruce and guest guitarists including Phil Manzanera, Robin Trower, Bernie Marsden, and Uli Jon Roth. Bruce wrote songs with longtime collaborators Pete Brown and Kip Hanrahan, as well as his wife, Margrit Seyffer. The music is quite diverse, making this album a distant spiritual cousin to 1969's Songs for a Tailor. There are some scathing rockers, most notably the rumbling, politically intense "Drone," illustrated only by distorted bass and drums and samples of a WWII Stuka. "Reach for the Night" is a sophisticated, multivalent pop song with R&B and even jazz overtones. The piano-driven rock of "Fields of Forever" actually recalls the spirit of "Doin' That Scrapyard Thing" from Cream's Goodbye album. "Rusty Lady" (about the death of Margaret Thatcher -- Bruce wasn't a fan) is a funky blues with Trower's silvery guitar punctuating the mix. The Caribbean rhythms and horns in "Candlelight" make it a sophisticated outlier here, Medeski's organ careening around a bubbling bassline, stuttering drum kit, brass, and Manzanera's dancing single lines and vamps. The complex melody in "Hidden Cities" walks a line between metal and prog, while the next cut, "Don't Look Now," commences as a lithe, weary ballad before gradually cracking itself open and transforming into a midtempo rocker. Marsden's stinging fills punch through Bruce's bassline in the strutting modern blues that is "Keep It Down." The set closes with the thundering rock and roll of "No Surrender," the most raucous tune on the set. Bruce's voice is a tad grainy, but his pitch and phrasing remain intact. Silver Rails is chancy and engaging, despite some inconsistent moments, and stands as a bright testament to an exceptional musician who, for over 50 years, has pushed at the margins of every genre he's taken on.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/01/2014
Label: Imports
UPC: 5013929472839
catalogNumber: 2504668
Rank: 36704

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jack Bruce   Primary Artist,Piano,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Mellotron
Phil Manzanera   Guitar
Robin Trower   Guitar
Bernie Marsden   Guitar
Malcolm Bruce   Acoustic Guitar
John Medeski   Mellotron,Hammond B3
Tony Remy   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Winston Rollins   Trombone
Uli Jon Roth   Guitar
Frank Tontoh   Drums
Russell Bennett   Trumpet
Derek Nash   Tenor Saxophone
Rob Cass   Percussion,Background Vocals
Aruba Red   Vocals
Pearse Macintyre   Acoustic Guitar
Cindy Blackman Santana   Drums
Kyla Bruce   Vocals
Julie Iwheta   Vocals
Chantelle Nandi   Vocals
Milos Pál   Drums,Djembe

Technical Credits

Jack Bruce   Composer
Pete Brown   Composer
Paul Pritchard   Engineer
Margrit Seyffer   Composer,Executive Producer
Rob Cass   Producer
Hanrahan   Composer
Pearse Macintyre   Programming,Engineer
Sacha Jafri   Paintings

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