A lot of bands pioneered uncanny in 1967. Cream pioneered uncanny and loud.
In an epoch full of scent and peppermints, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker combined a fire-breathing Godzilla bark to psychedelia with a still-epic “Sunshine of Your Love.”
Bruce, who died yesterday during age 71, went on to have a prolonged solo career — he delivered his latest album, “Silver Rail,” in March. He also collaborated with a who’s who of stone and jazz giants: Ringo Starr, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed, Mick Taylor, Vernon Reid and more.
He never equaled a competence of Cream. This carries no shame; few acts matched Cream’s groundbreaking approach.
As a pivotal songwriter and a arch thespian in a trio, Bruce helped stone ’n’ hurl flip a switch from black and white to stately technicolor.
The bassist led a rope on their initial pound singular in 1966, a trippy “I Feel Free.” Later his soulful voice powered a complex, worldwide strike “White Room.” Even many of his teenager moments valid staggering — check out a lonely, heated “We’re Going Wrong” from “Disraeli Gears.”
Between Clapton’s guitar heroics and Baker’s complicated metal-meets-jazz drums, Bruce’s drum anchored a band. Listen to a live chronicle of “Crossroads” from a band’s 1968 gig during Winterland in San Francisco. While Clapton wails divided and Baker hammers his kit, Bruce stays sealed in a groove. He was like a James Jamerson of stoner stone — always present, always purposeful, never in a approach of a song.
Just as Cream laid a grounds for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, Bruce non-stop a doorway for a era of bassists perplexing to try and keep their bandmates sealed into a groove.
Zeppelin is a renouned (and obvious) starting indicate for so many immature stone fans. But as those kids puncture serve into a past, “Sunshine of Your Love” will always be there to blow minds and speakers.