Jack Bruce obviously had a thing for power trios, and I’m not just talking about Cream. Maybe it was because he was such an accomplished musician/composer that he simply didn’t require a large ensemble to fulfil whatever sounds were going on inside his head. Bruce first paired up with ex-Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower in 1981 to record the B.L.T. album, and again the following year with 1982’s impressive Truce. And that’s pretty much where their collaborative efforts ended, until 2007, where the two decided that the time was obviously right for another LP. Seven Moons fulfils that ambition and more, and is an outstanding collection of songs, proving that old dogs don’t necessarily need to learn new tricks in order to be masters at what they do.
Kicking off with the moody, Cream/Hendrix hybrid of the title track, Trower’s mercury-like guitar lines blend beautifully with Bruce’s voice and bass, “Seven Moons” is an instant classic. “Lives Of Clay” is built around a riff reminiscent of “Politician,” which will no doubt please older fans, while the atmospheric “Distant Places Of The Heart” is full of poetic lyrics (courtesy of Pete Brown) and Trower’s Hendrix-inspired flourishes.
The Hendrix references continue with “She’s Not The One,” while “So Far To Yesterday” would not seem out of place on Wheels Of Fire. Bruce is in fine voice and form on the lyrically insightful “Just Another Day,” before again revisiting his Cream days with “Perfect Place.” They manage to put themselves in a time capsule and go back to the ‘70s on “The Last Door” and the ‘turn down the lights’ guitar workout of “Bad Case Of Celebrity,” throughout which Trower proves himself a master of the blues, and perhaps even an equal to latter day Jimmy Page.
The heavy “Comes To Me” sees Trower once again unleash his inner Hendrix, while the paranoid jazz-rock “I’m Home” is early ‘70s Bruce at his best, a song that would not have seemed out of place on albums such as Songs For A Tailor or Out Of The Storm. And while much of Seven Moons has a trippy, almost psychedelic quality to it (never a bad thing in my estimation), it’s the sheer strength of composition and playing which stands out, ultimately. Essentially it comes down to two old geezers doing what they do best, and sounding great in the process. One couldn’t ask for anything more than that. And on Seven Moons they delivered the goods, just as they did in times past. Nostalgic it may be, but wondrous all the same.