SHADOWS IN THE AIR is the twelfth studio album by Scottish musician Jack Bruce, released in March 2001. Bassist/composer/vocalist Jack Bruce has undoubtedly led a storied musical career. During his days with the power trio “Cream”, the bassist along with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker offered novel perspectives on how to incorporate virtuosity into rock-based elements while also melding jazz-style improvisation with blues-drenched motifs deemed suitable for radio airplay.
When Foday Musa Suso teamed with drummer Hamid Drake in the ‘80s to form the Mandingo Griot Society, the usage of kora and the American drum kit was a novelty, and successfully but precariously placed the traditions of African village music and jazz oriented polyrhythms in a new place. Suso and the veteran drummer Jack DeJohnette team up in duets that do not juxtapose, but complement the rhythmic strengths of the different instruments, creating a language of their own. Suso is happy to play the vibrant shimmering melodies his 21-string instrument uniquely brings to the table, while DeJohnette adopts a sensitive, supportive rather than similarly melodic role, forming funky beats, cymbal accents, and colorations that shade rather than drive the music.