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Random Acts of Happiness Import

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Audio CD, Import, February 28, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2004 album featuring Tim Garland recorded live at Yoshi's, Oakland, CA, 2003, features 11 tracks.

About the Artist

Bill Bruford is quite rightly regarded as one of the finest drummers in the world through his work with Yes, King Crimson, UK and his work with Patrick Moraz not forgetting his own band Bruford. In fact in 1969 Bill had already been noticed by the great Buddy Rich who was to comment "Hey, that’s a good drummer…Good hands!" Praise indeed. Bill Bruford however has always been a huge fan of Jazz and so inevitably it was jazz that Bill turned to when he wanted to expand his musical horizons. Bill formed the band Earthworks in 1986 with the idea of integrating electronic drums and percussion into a jazz situation. Previously electronic drums had been seen as a novelty and more or less ignored by the jazz community. However by the mid eighties Bill felt that technology had moved on to such an extent that the introduction of electronic drums into a jazz set up would not only be viable but musically worthwhile. The band was made up of Bill on drums and percussion and young jazz musicians Django Bates, Ian Bellamy and Mick Hutton. The band recorded their debut album the self titled Earthworks which was released in 1987. The band set about playing dates and subsequently followed this up with their second release Dig in 1989 and another studio album, All Heaven Broke Loose in 1993. Following the bands live album Stamping Ground in 1994 Bill turned his attention back to work with King Crimson and for the next few years worked with Robert Fripp not only in King Crimson but also other improvisational projects connected with King Crimson. In 1997 Heavenly Bodies was released which provided an introduction to the music of Earthworks as a fine compilation of tracks from the bands releases to date and included one unreleased live track. By the time the band had returned to full time activity not only the line up had changed but also the musical direction. Whilst the music was still definitely jazz Bill felt that he had taken the electronic drums direction as far as it could go and the band was now an acoustic based jazz quartet which now included Bruford, Steve Hamilton, Patrick Clahar and Mark Hodgson The new line up of Earthworks wasted no time in recording the album A Part and Yet Apart in 1999 and The Sound Of Surprise in 2001. This line up was also responsible for the live album Footloose And Fancy Free that was recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience at dates in London during 2001. An accompanying DVD was also filmed in New York and entitled Footloose In New York. Having re established themselves both live and in the studio the band then set about recording their next album and the decision was taken to record another live album. The album, Random Acts Of Happiness was recorded in San Francisco at the celebrated jazz club Yoshi’s in Summer 2003. This album also sees the recording debut of the latest line up of Earthworks and includes the most recent member Tim Garland who replaced Patrick Clahar. As the magazine Downbeat said in a review of Earthworks in 2002 "It’s no surprise anymore how good Earthworks is"

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. My Heart Declares A Holiday 5:26$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. White Knuckle Wedding 7:43$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Turn And Return 2:51$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Tramontana 8:05$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Bajo Del Sol 8:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Seems Like A Lifetime Ago (Part 1) 3:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Modern Folk 6:27$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. With Friends Like These... 2:52$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Speaking With Wooden Tongues 7:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. One of A Kind (Part 1) 2:09$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. One Of A Kind (Part 2) 4:24$0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 28, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Summerfold UK
  • ASIN: B0001J3W1E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,612 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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The author talks candidly about his extraordinary Autobiography.


By the tender age of 27, Bill Bruford's musical character had already been forged in the fiery furnace of four of the biggest progressive rock groups of all time; Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, and UK. By nature a restless innovator uncomfortable with the well-worn path, Bill went on to a fascinating 40-year career as a band leader and writer with his groups Bruford and Earthworks. His taste ... Read more in Amazon's Bill Bruford Store

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Johanna on August 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in May 2003 at Yoshis, Oakland, California's premiere jazz venue, Random Acts of Happiness features multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland's recording debut with the quartet, bringing with him a wealth of solo material and boundless creative inspiration for Bruford and his distinguished colleagues (Steve Hamilton, piano, and Mark Hodgson, bass).

This Summerfold Records release offers up a new set of tunes artfully crafted by the band, with an Earthworks selection from the original lineup entitled "My Heart Declares a Holiday" and two classic Bruford gems ("Seems Like a Lifetime Ago" and "One of a Kind") thrown in for good measure. Recorded in the elegant setting of Yoshis Jazz House on May 13 and 14, 2003, the sound quality and musicianship are both at their peak here.

Tim Garland's sultry "Bajo Del Sol" features a deep, provocative introduction on bass clarinet, and Garland later transitions effortlessly between flute and tenor and soprano saxes. It is evident why Garland was asked to join the illustrious ensemble, as he brings back the progressive compositional element that was the hallmark of the first lineup featuring Django Bates and Iain Ballamy.

Bruford has always had a knack for selecting unique song titles, "White Knuckle Wedding" notwithstanding. Garland's staccato flute, Bruford's emphasis on log drum, and Hodgson's driving bass move the song to a feverish pitch. One can almost envision this fictitious wedding over the course of the nearly eight-minute romp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Lang on December 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Nice title, I know. It sounds as if I am shocked. And believe me, this CD did was pretty shocking. Put 70's progressive rock icon in an acoustic setting with piano, bass, sax, and woodwinds, and what do you get? Pure genius.
Earthworks caresses odd times with the greatest of ease in the opening track "My Heart Declares a Holiday". The band really functions tightly on this disc. Pushing 60, Bruford still shows he can move around his kit with the finnesse of his days with Yes and King Crimson, etc. on "With Friends Like These..." It is my first Earthworks' buy, and I am so very glad I have done so.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on May 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The first thing you need to know is that Bill Bruford is absolutely the greatest drummer to ever play music and this incredible live set from Yoshi's in California positively blows the doors off every other jazz CD in existence. Beginning with "My Heart Declares A Holiday" you know exactly from the very first beat why Bruford is so highly regarded. Immediately I felt enormous sympathy for Pat Mastellotto, Phil Collins, Alan White and any other drummer who has had to follow Bruford in the drum chair. No matter how good they are on their own terms, they are like kids banging on cans when the Master of Odd Metred Polyrhythm raises his sticks. I've never heard a CD begin so incredibly.
The sophisticated prowess of this quartet takes flight on the next number, "White Knuckle Wedding," with Tim Garland's beautiful flute works, and Scott Hamilton's mellifluous piano runs. Lyle Who? Mark Hodgson may rank as one of Bruford's most adept rhythm partners on bass, and Bruford has worked with the best. Bruford is all over the drums, hand drums, log drums. I would defy any three drummers to keep up with him.
The dynamics of the recording are impeccable. I had no idea it was live until the clapping began. That said, it sounds as though you are front and center for this gig. "Turn and Return" is a beautiful soliloquy by Tim Garland accented perfectly by hints from the rest of the band. They segue perfectly into "Tramontana" and the band goes into full flight again.
Compositional credits are mostly Bruford and Garland, and theirs is a powerful cooperative: adventuresome, hairpin and angular, lyrical and polyrhytmic, this is a CD you want to replay immediately upon its conclusion each time.
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