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Vernon Reid Talks About Working with Jack Bruce in Spectrum Road

Vernon Reid
Fernando Leon, Getty Images

As we reported a few months back, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid has assembled a jazz-rock/fusion supergroup together with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce, John Medeski (keyboardist for Medeski, Martin and Wood) and former Lenny Kravitz drummer Cindy Blackman Santana.

The group, known as Spectrum Road, will be releasing their self-titled debut effort via Palmetto Records on June 5, and Reid revealed how the band got together in a recent interview. “It started when I was touring with Jack Bruce in Europe – this is in the shadow of 9/11,” he tells Rolling Stone. “And somewhere in the middle of all of that, we were having a really good time . . . And I remember asking Jack about his life, about what Cream was like to Hendrix and about [jazz drummer] Tony Williams.

While Spectrum Road owes much of its sound to bands including King Crimson and Yes, Reid is quick to also point out that the band also ventures in unexpected directions. “It’s definitely a jazz-rock thing but it has a rock edge, because one of the architects of modern rock is in the band and he’s singing these tunes,” Reid says. “It’s kind of an odd combination of jazz-rock as we know it. It gives the thing a different feel and sonic signature.”

In addition to having a new group on the go, Reid also confirms that Living Colour will be returning to the studio with expectations of releasing a new record next year. Spectrum Road will be performing on June 9 as a part of the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee.

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