Another super group has emerged and announced show dates this year. The band, called Spectrum Road, consists of Cream’s Jack Bruce on vocals and bass, Living Colour’s Vernon Reid playing guitar, John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood playing piano, and Cindy Blackman-Santana on drums.
“To be able to play and record in this band alongside three of the most creative and stellar musicians in the world is a longtime dream come true,” said Vernon Reid in a press release. “The idea for Spectrum Road first came about in 2001, and it was the ongoing belief in the kind of record we knew we could make together that made it come to fruition.”
It seems the group initially came about when Jack Bruce learned that Reid was also a fan of Tony Williams. Bruce played in Tony William’s jazz fusion band Lifetime, all through the 1970’s, after his time with Cream. The group has already performed once as the Tony Williams Tribute Band, to pay homage to Williams who passed in 1997.
Now that the group is working more together, they have decided to change the name.
“The name Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute was accurate in one sense ... but it was too limiting,” Reid explained to Guitar Player. “We’re more inspired by the spirit of Tony Williams ... It became important for this ensemble to have an identity of its own, and not for it to be tied or frozen by nostalgia for the past.”
The group has already recorded an album together, self-titled Spectrum Road, which is set to debut on June 5, 2012. The group will perform at the Bonnaroo Festival just a few days later on June 9.
Cindy Blackman-Santana, wife of Carlos Santana has performed and recorded with Lenny Kravitz as well as many jazz bands, and she cites Tony Williams as her primary influence.
John Medeski is a jazz keyboardist and is best known as part of the band Medeski, Martin and Wood. MMW has backed the likes of John Scofield, Trey Anastasio and Iggy Pop.
Tony Williams initially became known drumming for Miles Davis’s band, and later went on to become one of the pioneers of jazz fusion. Williams died of a heart attack in 1997, at only 51 years of age.