Jack Bruce is primarily known for his work in Cream, one of the first, if not the first, supergroup. The short-lived late-60s band had a huge impact thanks to the talents of Bruce, guitar great Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker.
Cream's studio output could be described as psychedelic Blues but their concerts were famous for displaying each member's improvisational skills. For Bruce's part, that ability was developed through work with Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organization and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.
Following Cream's demise, Bruce issued solo albums and founded West, Bruce and Laing, with guitarist Leslie West (formerly of Mountain). It was after his first solo album that Bruce joined Lifetime, a group led by drummer Tony Williams, who had worked with Jazz great Miles Davis. Bruce contributed to the Jazz-Fusion ensemble's second, and last, album "Turn It Over."
At first glance, Bruce's relationship with Williams and appreciation for his music did not appear to be one of the bassist's career highpoints. But later, it would prove significant.
Guitarist Vernon Reid was a member of the '80's band Living Colour, a group highly rated by critics who found a loyal, if not large, fan base. Three albums into their career, Living Colour fractured. Reid then launched a solo career that included a number of eclectic projects.
Williams passed away in '97 and it was in the ensuing years that Bruce discovered that Reid was also a Williams fan. That shared admiration led to the formation of Spectrum Road.
Bruce, Reid, organist John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman (Carlo Santana's wife) played a series of '08 Blue Note Club Tony Williams Lifetime tribute concerts in Japan.
"The idea for Spectrum Road first came about in '01, and it was the ongoing belief in the kind of record we knew we could make together that made it come to fruition," said Reid in a statement.
2012 Spectrum Road