Last night I head that Jack Bruce had died. Jack Bruce originally studied as a cellist but switched to upright bass and a lot of his early career was spent playing jazz. He met Ginger Baker in the Graham Bond Organisation. He also had a few brief experiences of playing with Eric Clapton before the trio eventually formed Cream. Since Cream he has produced a large number on innovative solo albums. He brought his jazz stylings to rock music and showed that more could be achieved with the bass that just providing the rhythm. As such he has been one of the most stylish and influential bass players in rock. He was also a very fine singer, and while his voice has shown the ravages of age in recent years, his bass playing has continued to be superb.
This comes in week where pioneer reggae singer John Holt of the Paragons, who recorded the original version of The Tide Is High also died. Another great lost to the world.
On a more positive note we heard that Wilco Johnson having been under a cancer death sentence for over a year has been declared free on cancer. While I think anyone who has had cancer will tell you the threat never really goes away, this is great news for a man who has faced his expected death with great dignity and has continued to enjoy playing. Wilco is not perhaps as well know outside the UK, but his band Dr Feelgood played straight out rock and roll and inspired a lot of the early British punk musicians. He has often been undervalued as a guitarist due to his no frills approach, but it is that very economy of style which emphasise his greatness. He doesn't play any more notes than are needed and his style is instantly recognisable. Long may he continue to play.