John Bruce Wallace

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John Bruce Wallace
Background information
Born (1949-12-31)December 31, 1949
Calais, Maine, United States
Genres Avant-rock, experimental, free improvisation, free jazz, industrial
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1970–present
Labels Waving Bye
John Bruce Wallace in concert

John Bruce Wallace is an American composer and improvisational guitarist.[1]

Early life[edit]

John Bruce Wallace a/k/a jacewbal was born February 6, 1950, in Calais, Maine. John exhibited an affinity for the performing arts at an early age, first in acting, playing the lead roles in grade school plays, later he expanded his interests to include singing solo for his grade school classmates. Encouraged by his father to take up trumpet, he began studying clarinet while in grade school. By high school John had found “the Guitar” and would perform almost daily during summers on his family’s front porch for the traffic passing by. Bands formed during this time were all short lived usually breaking up due to disagreements over the musical direction that the group members wanted to go in. John’s early influences included Sun Ra, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Jimi Hendrix. After high school, John moved to Portland, Maine, to pursue music. He started several groups which all failed due to musical differences, although one failed after the band’s equipment was stolen. However, during this time he would fill in on guitar for a number of traveling bands that were performing in night clubs in Portland. He was also at this time becoming more influenced by Experiential Rock and Jazz.


Being recognized for developing a new approach to electric guitar, the prime focus of his musical work is the expansion of the voicings of the electric guitar through improvised compositions. A free jazz solo performer interested in freely improvised music with a focus on generating extended sound statements within the options afforded through solo performance. His approach incorporates totally improvised sound expressions with emphasis on deconstruction of structure and pattern - while generating a narrative of the moment.[2][3] His improvised compositions often incorporate multi-tonal qualities, dense, interwoven passages embellished with harmonic and micro-tonal sound.[4] For a guy whose list of desert islands discs contains works by Scelsi, Globokar, Kagel, Xenakis & others of the same ilk, it's interesting to hear such a loud, aggressively rock-like, feedback laden approach to solo...electric guitar.[5]

Tours have included festivals in Russia and Lithuania, at the Vilnius Jazz Festival.[6][7]

In a 1994 review of Wallace's improvisational album Loud Noises in a Corner: Engagements on Urban Terrain, Mark Jenkins wrote in Washington City Paper Wallace "is a lot less predictable than that of many guitar warriors, and the best of it has a savage beauty that Eddie Van Halen couldn't achieve with six months of overdubs."[8]


  • Impaled Dreams of the Believer
  • Riding the Cusp of Time
  • Electro Static Time Line
  • Loud Noises in a Corner: Engagements On Urban Terrain
  • John Bruce Wallace in Russia
  • Plumbing the Depths of Reason
  • Krank Cauls Disturb My Sleep


  1. ^ Lord, Tom (December 2000). The jazz discography. Lord Music Reference. ISBN 978-1-881993-23-0. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bandcamp Releases: John Bruce Wallace". Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Sonicbids Artists: John Bruce Wallace". Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "All About Jazz: John Bruce Wallace". All About Jazz. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Forced Exposure: John Bruce Wallace". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Vilnius Jazz Festival". Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Vilnius Jazz Festival History 1991". Vilnius Jazz Festival. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ Picking Himself Into a Corner, October 28, 1994

External links[edit]