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 1988–95, then returned to jazz in the latter half of the 1990s.
BRUCE CALE DISCOGRAPHY
Bryce Rohde Quartet Corners 1963 CBS
Clarence “Big” Miller & Bryce Rohde Quartet Big ‘n Bryce 1964 CBS
Bryce Rohde Just Bryce 1965 CBS
Tubby Hayes Night & Day 1966 Candid
Spontaneous Music Ensemble Challenge 1966 Eyemark
Prince Lasha Ensemble Insight 1966 Columbia
Zitro Zitro 1967 ESP
John Handy Projections 1968 Columbia
Charlie Monroe Orchestra Countdown 1969 Columbia
Essra Mohawk ″I Have Been Here Before″ Primordial Lovers 1969 Reprise
Contraband Time & Space 1971 Epic
Gravity Adjuster Expansions Band One 1973 Paradigm
Bryce Rohde Trio Turn Right At NSW 1976 Nocturne
Bruce Cale Quartet At The Opera House 1979 44
Bruce Cale Quartet Live At The Adelaide Festival 1980 Tall Poppies
Bruce Cale Quartet On Fire 1980 Tall Poppies
Bruce Cale Orchestra A Century Of Steps 1981 Larrikin
Bruce Cale Orchestra Live At The Basement Volume 1 1987 Vista Records
Bruce Cale Orchestra Live At The Basement Volume 2 1987 Modern Records
Bruce Cale ″Cullenbenbong″ Harmonia 1989 ABC Jazz
Bryce Rohde Quartet More Spring 1990 MBS
Bruce Cale Orchestra Live At The Basement (cd) 1994 Vista Records
Bryce Rohde ″Windows Of Arquez" Bodgie Dada 1995 EMI
Guy Le Claire & Bruce Cale Standard Time 1996 Time For Jazz
Bryce Rohde Duo Always Come Back Here 2001 Music In The Vines
Rick Farbach Trio 2001 Private pressing
Sue Bond In The Moment 2002 Self published
Bruce Cale Orchestral Works 2006 Tall Poppies
- Roger T. Dean, "Bruce Cale". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.
- Bruce Johnson, "Bruce Cale". The Oxford Companion to Australian Jazz p. 127.