Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap
@ Southbank Centre's Purcel Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
24 November 2007
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Bill Bruford biography
Bill Bruford grew up with jazz. As an amateur drummer in the 1960s,
and after a handful of lessons from Lou Pocock of the Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra, he began his professional career in 1968. He was a guiding
light in the so-called British "Art Rock" movement, touring
internationally with Yes and King Crimson from 1968-74. There then
followed several years spent observing and participating in the
music making processes of, among others, Gong, National Health,
Genesis and U.K., until Bill felt ready to write and perform his
own music with his own band Bruford, recording four albums from
It was, however, the reconstituted King Crimson of 1980-84 that
provided the vehicle for his revolutionary use of electronics in
developing the melodic side of percussion. Following an interim
two year/two album stint improvising on acoustic piano and drums
with Patrick Moraz, Bruford formed his electro-acoustic jazz group
Earthworks in 1986, with Django Bates and Iain Ballamy, specifically
to continue this work on melody from the drum set, but now in a
Earthworks, the group's first offering in 1987, was named the "third
best jazz album of the year" by America's USA Today; then came
Dig? (1989), All Heaven Broke Loose (1991), and the summer 1994
Live set, Stamping Ground.
King Crimson again proved itself a veritable percussion think-tank
when it launched the double-rhythm team of Bruford and Pat Mastelotto
in the 1994 double-trio incarnation. Through late 1994 and 1995,
the band toured the world, giving 120 concerts, and producing studio
and live CDs documenting its fresh and innovative use of two drummers.
1996 saw further King Crimson concerts, and the production of a
CD Rom encapsulating Bruford's approach, in a tri-format combination
of audio and MIDI/digital data, entitled Packet of 3.
In between all this, Bill also found time to record and/or tour
with Kazumi Watanabe, David Torn, The New Percussion Group of Amsterdam,
Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Akira Inoue, Al Di Meola, Anderson Bruford Wakeman
and Howe, the Buddy Rich Orchestra, Tony Levin, Pete Lockett and
his old firm Yes amongst others. He continued his work as an active
clinician with a series of clinics in Europe and America in 1993,
culminating in his highly acclaimed appearance at the Percussive
Arts Society International Convention at Columbus, Ohio in November.
In 1990, the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine voted him into that
magazine's Hall of Fame.
The late 90s saw Bruford underlining his commitment, and return,
to jazz and 1997 saw two major releases. The Earthworks "best
of" compilation, Heavenly Bodies, taken from all four albums
and including previously unreleased material was released in May
on Virgin Record, U.K. Then a late summer release of fresh material
with jazz titans Ralph Towner (guitars and piano) and Eddie Gomez
(bass) entitled If Summer had its Ghosts, appeared on King Crimson's
Discipline Records in September.
Touring internationally with the second edition of Earthworks,
featuring Steve Hamilton (keyboards) and Patrick Clahar (saxophones),
the band's live work led to the release of a sixth C.D. "A
Part and yet Apart" in 1999. Electronic percussion made way
for the warmer looser style of the more conventional sax-piano-bass-drums
line up, and Bruford continued to bring the best of the young British
players to the attention of a rapidly growing international audience.
Michiel Borstlap biography
Award winner Michiel Borstlap is one of today’s most celebrated
musicians, regularly performing on renowned stages across the globe.
Over the past decade, the pianist and composer has gained international
acclaim for his original music and his highly communicative interpretations
of a broad musical scope between pop, jazz, dance and classical
Borstlap won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Award 1996, which brought
him his first major international audience. Applauded at festivals
in New York, Sydney, Beijing, Tokyo, Vienna, Berlin, Umbria, Chicago,
Cape Town, London etc. for his musical skills and flamboyant virtuosity
of the piano, Borstlap also is renowned for his compositions which
has been performed and recorded by artists such as Herbie Hancock,
Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter and Bill Bruford.
Borstlap composed, commissioned by the Emir of Qatar, the world's
first Arabic Opera (Opera Avicenna), which premiered in Qatar, 2003,
and was televised for an audience of 300 million viewers.