Cale began studying music at age nine, and worked professionally in Sydney from 1958. He worked with Bryce Rohde from 1962–65, then moved to England, where he played with Tubby Hayes and worked in John Stevens's Spontaneous Music Ensemble. After obtaining a scholarship, he attended the Berklee College of Music starting in 1966 and remained in the U.S. until 1977, where he played with Ernie Watts and John Handy among others. While in Los Angeles in 1974, he composed the piece Iron Cross for the woodwinds and percussion of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Upon his return to Sydney in 1977 he led a small ensemble with a shifting lineup which included, at times, Roger Frampton, Bob Bertles, Dale Barlow, Charlie Munro, Phil Treloar, Alan Turnbull and Tony Buck as sidemen. He led his own Bruce Cale Orchestra through the 1980s, recording three albums with the group. In 1981 he studied for a period in the U.S. with George Russell, and also premiered a double bass concerto, performing as the soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He concentrated on composing from 1988 to 1995, then returned to jazz in the latter half of the 1990s.
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With John Handy
- Projections (Columbia, 1968)
With Prince Lasha
- Insight (CBS, 1966)