Jack Bruce’s Complete Beeb And “Beat Club” Tapes Get Boxed Up

This year Jack Bruce should have been celebrating the completion of his 80th spin around the sun, yet the great Scotsman left us in 2014, so the festivities turned into remembrance that saw, alongside today’s release of the acoustic tribute to CREAM masterminded by his son Malcolm, quite a lot of archive videos appear on his YouTube channel. But on January 26th, 2024 all of those rarities – and more, in audio format, will appear on a box set titled “Smiles & Grins: Broadcast Sessions 1970-2001” and comprised of four CDs and two Blu-ray discs.

It needs to be said that the material on CDs 1, 2 and 4 saw the light of day before – on Bruce’s "Spirit" which was issued 15 years ago, in 2008, when Jack’s fans could for the first time properly hear him play on BBC with such friends as Chris Spedding and Jon Hiseman, who helped the bassist record his early solo albums – while CD 3 and one of the Blu-rays contain the much-bootlegged “Old Grey Whistle Test” from 1975 where he performed in the company of Mick Taylor and the recently departed Carla Bley alongside the lately discovered 1970’s “Beat Club” session from Tony Williams’ LIFETIME where Bruce shone next to John McLaughlin. Among other gems is a 1981 concert, adding to the one already out on DVDs, from Jack’s “And Friends” period, where his ensemble included Clem Clempson, David Sancious and Billy Cobham. An essential offering.

Smiles & Grins:
Broadcast Sessions 1970-2001

CD 1
“In Concert” – August 1971:
1. You Burned The Tables On Me
2. Smiles And Grins
3. Folk Song
4. A Letter Of Thanks
5. We’re Going Wrong
6. The Clearout
7. Have You Ever Loved A Woman?
8. Powerhouse Sod
9. You Sure Look Good To Me

CD 2
“Sounds Of The 70s” – July 1971:
1. Theme For An Imaginary Western
2. You Burned The Tables On Me
3. Folk Song
4. A Letter Of Thanks
5: The Clearout
“Jazz In Britain” – August 10th, 1971:
6. Baru
7. Powerhouse Sod
8. Oom Bham She Bam Bom
9. Jack’s Gone
10. Clearway
11. Walkabout

CD 3
“Old Grey Whistle Test” – June 6th, 1975:
1. Can You Follow
2. Morning Story
3. Keep It Down
4. Pieces Of Mind
5. One
6. Spirit
7. Without A Word
8. Smiles And Grins
“Jazz In Britain” – September 4th, 1978:
9. Fifteen Minutes Past Three
10. Ten To Four

CD 4
“Radio 1 In Concert” – April 30th, 1977:
1. Madhouse
2. Without A Word
3. Times
4. Baby Jane
5. Born Under A Bad Sign
6. Lost Inside A Song
7. Something To Live For
8. How’s Tricks
9. Spirit
10. Out Into The Fields
11. You Burned The Tables On Me
“Jazz In Britain” – September 4th, 1978 – with Jon Hiseman and John Surman:
12. Twenty Past Four

Blu-ray 1
Tony Williams’ LIFETIME – “Beat Club” un-broadcast performance – November 24th, 1970:
1. Smiles & Grins
i. Devotion
ii. Smiles & Grins (Reprise)
iii. Dance Of Maya
2. One Word
“Old Grey Whistle Test” – June 6th, 1975:
3. Can You Follow
4. Morning Story
5. Keep It Down
6. Pieces Of Mind
7. One
8. Spirit
9. Without A Word
10. Smiles And Grins

Blu-ray 2
“Old Grey Whistle Test” – University Of Surrey, Guildford – June 9th. 1981:
1. White Room
2. Hit And Run
3. Soul Blues
4. Living Without Ja
5. Dancing On Air
6. In This Way
7. Theme For An Imaginary Western
B.A. In Music – August 30th, 1982:
8. Theme For An Imaginary Western
“Later With Jools Holland” – October 2001:
9. 52nd Street
10. Sunshine Of Your Love

November 4, 2023

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