Bill Bruford Biography

William Scott Bruford, 17 May 1949, Sevenoaks, Kent, England. A founder member of progressive rock outfit Yes in 1968, Bruford left four years later at the height of the band’s popularity. An accomplished drummer, he opted to join King Crimson, where his skills were put to even greater test, and remained there until leader Robert Fripp dissolved the line-up in 1974. Bruford subsequently worked with Pavlov’s Dog, before forming the jazz rock ensemble, UK. The initial line-up also featured guitarist Allan Holdsworth, who joined the drummer for his solo debut, Feels Good To Me. The two musicians then broke away to found Bruford, which was completed by Dave Stewart (keyboards) and Jeff Berlin (bass). However, the artist’s independent career was sidelined in 1981 when Fripp invited him to join the reconstituted King Crimson. Following the second collapse of King Crimson, Bruford toured with Al Di Meola and David Torn.

Bruford subsequently returned to his jazz roots with Earthworks, which included keyboard player Django Bates, saxophonist Iain Ballamy, and bass player Mick Hutton. The latter was replaced by Tim Harries on subsequent albums. Bruford became involved with the reunion of Yes in the late 80s, touring and recording under the banner of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe until such legal matters as to the ownership of the Yes name had been resolved. He rejoined King Crimson for their mid-90s set, Thrak, and the attendant world tour. Following the release of an Earthworks compilation, Bruford collaborated with Ralph Towner and Eddie Gomez on the ‘chamber trio’ outing If Summer Had Its Ghosts. In 1998, he inaugurated a second line-up of Earthworks featuring Steve Hamilton (keyboards), Patrick Clahar (tenor saxophone), and Mark Hodgson (bass). One of the finest drummers in British music, Bruford refuses to rest on his laurels.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.