Drummer Bill Bruford
made a name for himself in the '70s as a rock & roller of a progressive bent. In the '80s he formed the rather extraordinary jazz/fusion band that became Earthworks
, saxophonist Iain Ballamy, keyboard and brass virtuoso Django Bates
, and bassist Mick Hutton
. This was their first album; an interesting one it was, though a later, live recording of the band presented some of the same material in a more highly developed state, rendering this original somewhat irrelevant. Bruford
is a stiff-wristed player -- not a particularly subtle percussionist, though his compositional skills are apparently of a high quality (most of the tunes are co-written with other band members, so it's hard to know how much credit to give Bruford
). The best thing about this band is its refreshing ingenuousness; they make intelligent, sophisticated instrumental pop music that doesn't pander in the least. This is their art, and a fine art it is.