Exposé Online banner

Bill Bruford with Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez — If Summer Had Its Ghosts
(Discipline DGM9705, 1997, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

If Summer Had Its Ghosts Cover art

When Bill Bruford is on break from his drum duties with King Crimson, what would you expect him to do? Should he go on vacation or work in another less hectic, but rewarding mode? If Summer Had Its Ghosts is the result of one week's playing with two other world class players. Featured prominently in the eleven pieces is Ralph Towner of Oregon, also a noted solo artist and collaborator with John Abercrombie. Eddie Gomez is known for ten years of stand up bass work as one third of the Bill Evans trio. And yes this is a jazz trio album, and nearly a quartet due to Towner's doubling up on both guitar and piano. Stylistically the disc is Bruford's first ECM label 'mood' album as a leader, one of tone and color not necessarily hot chops. Bill is the primary composer except for Amethyst (Gomez) and the album's closing piece, "Now is the Next Time" (Towner). Melody lines are indistinct between improv and composition which is the stamp of a healthy creative dialog between listening contributors. Pulse varies based on individual tracks so don't expect any weird time signature showcase; Bruford uses many subtle facets of his percussive palette throughout the disc. However, he continues to deliver through his on-going compositional education. Notable tracks include "Never the Same Way Once" which features a spirited string bass solo by Gomez. "Forgiveness" is an unreleased Earthworks ballad featuring Towner's classical guitar and sparsely understated piano. It's disappointing that they won't be touring soon since the master drummer has re-formed Earthworks 2 and is playing throughout Europe for a few months. Although the disc may be slow to warm up to, if you like sophisticated jazz, then you'll be pleased by the nuances and spirited interplay.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 15, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Bill Bruford / Earthworks, Eddie Gomez, Ralph Towner

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tim Motzer + Markus Reuter - Descending – Guitarist Tim Motzer and touch guitarist Markus Reuter establish an instant atmospheric rapport on their first joint effort together. The first song, “1200 Sundays,” is beautiful and sounds...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues