Jack Bruce,who was highly regarded for his melodic bass guitar style,vocals and songwriting ability,died on 25 October of liver disease.He was 71 and had suffered from liver cancer since 2003,receiving a transplant.As a member of prominent groups such as The Graham Bond Organisation,John Mayall's Bluesbreakers,Manfred Mann and Cream,as well being a wide-ranging solo artist,he ranks as one of the most influential musicians of his era.
Born near Glasgow,Scotland,Bruce was trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in cello and classical composition,but was ultimately expelled for playing bass in a dance band.He and drummer Ginger Baker met in London,where both played in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and The Graham Bond Organisation.He and Baker had a lifelong yet volatile artistic and personal relationship,escalating to physical altercations at times.From 1966-68,they performed with guitar legend Eric Clapton as Cream,a major exponent of the British Blues trend.
Following Cream's demise,Bruce recorded a number of solo LPs and periodically reunited with Baker and Clapton in various ways.They revived Cream in 2005 in shows at the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden.His last solo record,"Silver Rails",was released in March of this year.
Bruce frequently collaborated on songs with poet and musician Pete Brown.Addicted to heroin for more than a decade,Bruce went clean following his marriage to his second wife,Margrit.He was the father of three sons and two daughters.*
"Well you thought the leaden winter
Would bring you down forever
But you rode upon a steamer
To the violence of the sun...
With tales of brave Ulysses
How his naked ears were tortured
By the Sirens sweetly singing"
-Jack Bruce and Pete Brown