My review of Bill Bruford's Earthworks Complete Box set, today at All About Jazz.

Since retiring as a professional musician in 2009, progressive/art rock turned jazz drummer Bill Bruford has successfully managed to maintained a place in the public eye. Beyond his engaging, informative and successful Bill Bruford: The Autobiography (Jawbone Press, 2009), the drummer/percussionist has more recently released a second, equally captivating book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer (University of Michigan Press, 2018).

Initially stemming from the success of his autobiography but since assuming a life of its own (and no surprise, given Bruford's wit and erudite eloquence), a second career as a public speaker means that, while he may be enjoying the more relaxed pace of retirement, Bruford's name remains both visible and relevant. A third career path has been ensuring that his discography as a leader/co-leader remains available, with Bruford commencing a series of reissue box sets with 2017's six-CD/two-DVD Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (Gonzo Multimedia), which documents his first band as a leader, simply titled: Bruford.

Following the more bite-sized, three-CD/one-DVD box set reissue of the entire recorded output from Bruford's relatively short-lived improvising duo with Dutch pianist/keyboardist Michiel Borstlap earlier this year, Sheer Reckless Abandon (Summerfold Records), Earthworks Complete now comes as a far more extensive, 24-disc collection (twenty CDs/four DVDs), documenting the drummer's longest-lasting group, and his final major creative focus until the year before he retired.

First garnering attention with Yes, recording and touring with the band from 1969's eponymous Atlantic Records debut though Close to the Edge (Atlantic, 1972), Bruford left the group that same year and on the cusp of considerably greater commercial success to join up with Robert Fripp in the guitarist's newly minted lineup of King Crimson.

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