For over 40 years, Jack Bruce has been a bass legend, playing on some of the most influential music ever recorded. Hailed as one of the greatest bassists of his time, his improvisational skill and unique approach to both composition and performance has forever changed music.
His influence on countless musicians includes everyone from Charlie Watts to Sting to Jaco Pastorius. His work with bands such as Cream and The Tony Williams Lifetime, as well as his solo material, broke the barriers of tradition and created a brand new sound.
On Friday, January 14, at the 2011 NAMM Show, Bruce became the third recipient of the International Bassist Award, a lifetime achievement award for bassists. Larry Hartke was on hand to present the award to his idol.
“Simply put, Jack Bruce is the reason I became interested in the bass,” says Hartke. “Jack changed the role of bass in music and made playing the instrument look like fun. It was my greatest honor to present the International Bassist Award to my hero and friend.”
Numerous platinum and gold records, membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Cream and a recipient of a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement, Bruce has accumulated many awards. But, he says this particular award is very special because it is centered around the instrument he loves.
“I’ve had a love affair with the bass since I caressed my first double bass which had stood neglected and lonely in the corner of my school music room in gloomy, grey post-war Glasgow,” says Bruce. “That sensual and loving relationship has continued throughout my life via a Top Twenty Fender copy (which tried to electrocute me), a Fender VI, The Gibson EB3 I played with Cream right up to my beloved Warwick Thumb Bass which I have enjoyed for many years.”
“Being given this award makes me very proud and happy. When I stood on the stage at the Samson/Zoom/Hartke party at NAMM and Larry made the presentation, I felt I was one of a long line of bassists, perhaps starting with J.S. Bach himself – and he only used his feet – Jimmy Blanton, Charles Mingus, Ron Carter, James Jamerson, McCartney, Entwistle— the list is simply endless. For me to be considered a small part of that illustrious line is simply wonderful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”