John Symon Asher “Jack Bruce Bass” Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014) was a Scottish musician, composer and vocalist, known primarily for his multi-faceted contributions to the legendary British supergroup Cream, which included guitarist-singer Eric Clapton and drummer-founder Ginger Baker. In March, 2011, Rolling Stone readers selected him as the eighth greatest bass guitarist of all time. “Most musicians would have a very hard time distinguishing themselves if they wound up in a band with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker,” the magazine said at the time, “but Jack Bruce was so gifted on the bass that he did it with ease.”
jack bruce bass tabs maintained a solo career that spanned several decades and also played in several musical groups. Although recognized first and foremost as a vocalist, bassist and songwriter, he also played double bass, harmonica, piano and cello. He was trained as a classical cellist and considered himself a jazz musician, although much of his catalogue of compositions and recordings tended toward blues and rock and roll.
Bruce was born on 14 May 1943 in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire, to Betty (Asher) and Charlie Bruce, musical parents who moved frequently, resulting in the young Bruce attending 14 different schools, ending up at Bellahouston Academy. He began playing the jazz bass in his teens and won a scholarship to study cello and musical composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama while playing in Jim McHarg’s Scotsville Jazzband to support himself. The academy disapproved of its students playing jazz. “They found out”, Bruce told Musician correspondent Jim Macnie, “and said ‘you either stop, or leave college.’ So I left college.”
After leaving school he toured Italy, playing double bass with the Murray Campbell Big Band. In 1962 Bruce became a member of the London-based band Blues Incorporated,led by Alexis Korner, in which he played the upright bass. The band also included organist Graham Bond, saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith and Ginger Baker. In 1963 the group broke up and Bruce went on to form the Graham Bond Quartet with Bond, Baker and guitarist John McLaughlin.
They played an eclectic range of music genres, including bebop, blues and rhythm and blues. As a result of session work at this time, Bruce switched from the upright bass to the electric bass guitar. The move to electric bass happened as McLaughlin was dropped from the band; he was replaced by Heckstall-Smith on saxophone and the band pursued a more concise R&B sound and changed their name to the Graham Bond Organisation. They released two studio albums and several singles but were not commercially successful.
During the time that Bruce and Baker played with the Graham Bond Organisation, they were known for their hostility towards each other. There were numerous stories of the two sabotaging each other’s equipment and fighting on stage. Relations grew so bad between the two that Bruce left the group in August 1965.
After leaving, Bruce recorded a solo single, “I’m Gettin Tired”, for Polydor Records. He joined John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers group, which featured guitarist Eric Clapton. Although his stay was brief; the Universal Deluxe double album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton contains all the known tracks featuring Bruce.