Jack Bruce - bass, vocals; Hugh Burns - guitar; Tony Hymas - keyboards; Simon Phillips - drums
This show, recorded as a part of multiple sets captured in New York for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio series, was from Jack Bruce's 1977 How's Tricks tour, which was among his more noteworthy solo albums. Although the earlier show taped the same evening contained more crowd favorites (among them "Politician," "Theme For An Imaginary Western," and "Sunshine Of Your Love"), Bruce used the late set to stretch his more adventurous musical urges.
Featured here are more obscure, but just as enjoyable songs, including "Morning Story," "Spirit," "Something To Live For," and "Waiting For The Call" (which some say was about Bruce's desire to re-form Cream). He does an extensive version of "Smiles And Grins," which really takes off after a lengthy bass solo from Bruce. By the end, the band is moving at warp-speed in a jazz-rock-fusion motion.
After the demise of Cream in 1968, Bruce launched a solo band before teaming up with ex-Mountain members Leslie West and Corky Laing in 1972. West, Bruce, and Laing had hoped to bridge the gap left by the demise of both Cream and Mountain, and although they made three decent albums, WB&L never saw the same success as either of the two groups from which it emerged.
Bruce spent most of 1974 and 1975 doing sessions for the likes of Frank Zappa and Lou Reed, but by 1977, he was back to fronting his own group. Bruce has always had pro-musicians in his bands (the group just prior to this one had ex-Stone Mick Taylor and jazz keyboardist Carla Bley), and this group was no exception. For this tour, Bruce recruited guitarist Hugh Burns, keyboardist Tony Hymas (who would later work extensively with Jeff Beck), and drummer extraordinaire Simon Phillips, who would work with Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, the Who, and Toto, among others.
Although Jack Bruce has never been able to surpass the fame and acclaim he found in Cream, the powerhouse blues/rock trio he formed with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, he has managed to write and record a number of excellent solo albums. Bruce would continue working with his own band, and supporting others such as Ringo Starr, until he finally got the call from old band-mate, Eric Clapton, to reform Cream with Ginger Baker in 2005. The entire reunion consisted of 12 shows, staged only in London and New York City.