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Previous Item   December 04, 1997  Next Item SOUND  VISION WORD
    Jazz Cafe    London, England
CD Cover Photo

ďGreat. Really good. What now?Ē enquires a delighted Bill Bruford at the end of a number What now indeed? The residency at the Jazz Cafť felt fresh and different yet paradoxically recognizable and familiar, suggesting that P1 were in many respects the missing link between 1974 and 1994. Despite Mr. Clueless of Camden interrupting Robertís first KC-related stage announcement in over 13 years, nothing could take away from the fact that it had been an amazing week of momentous improvisations with the fourth and final evening being particularly strong. This gig represents both a completion and a new beginning as Bill takes his final bow on the KC stage.

We recently discovered that when this gig was first uploaded it was missing seven minutes worth of music Ė a fact that went unnoticed by all and sundry until the mighty Vargan alerted us to this lamentable omission.

Hereís how it happened.

The four Projekct one shows were recorded by David Singleton onto ADATs, which are effectively three VHS video machines linked together. During the first set, there was a problem with one of these tapes - and during the audience applause after the third improv, the tapes were switched off, and set of tapes from a previous night (which still had some unused space) inserted. After this improv - the original set of tapes were put back in for the remainder of the set.

As Alex ĎStormyí Mundy was only uploading night four to DGMLive, he hadn't seen the other tapes - one of which is clearly labelled as containing the "penultimate improv from first set night four" - which has now been restored to its rightful place.

But the bizarre feature of all of this is that the "join", where the machines were switched off, the tapes removed and then not used until some seven minutes later, is completely inaudible. The concert that was uploaded had not been doctored. Anyone with the original download (now a collectable item?!) can listen to the join between the fourth and fifth improvs - somewhere there should be an audible "leap" where seven precious minutes were stolen and put onto a different set of tapes. Call us deaf, but we can't hear it.


Disc Number 1
1.  4 i 1  [PREVIEW]  6.32
2.  4 i 2  [PREVIEW]  6.58
3.  4 i 3  [PREVIEW]  10.42
4.  4 i 4  [PREVIEW]  10.58
5.  4 i 5  [PREVIEW]  7.09
6.  4 i 6  [PREVIEW]  4.15
Disc Number 2
1.  Interrupted Announcement  [PREVIEW]  1.33
2.  4 ii 1  [PREVIEW]  7.03
3.  4 ii 2  [PREVIEW]  8.09
4.  4 ii 3  [PREVIEW]  2.43
5.  4 ii 4  [PREVIEW]  8.41
6.  4 ii 5  [PREVIEW]  7.00
7.  4 ii 6  [PREVIEW]  10.24

All previews are MP3 192kbps

Bill Bruford - Drums and Percussion
Robert Fripp - Guitar
Trey Gunn - Touch Guitar
Tony Levin - Bass and Stick


Audio Source: Adat Multi-Track

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Download MP3 Tour $29.00



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Press Clippings

Sunday Times Robert Fripp    Tue., Apr 19, 2005
Written by Stewart Lee

íSince 1992 it has again been possible to discuss without whispering the music of 1969-1976," writes King Crimsonís Robert Fripp in the sleeve notes to the recently issued early-1970s live collection The Night Watch. "But I offer no apology for the transparently pratty music played by young dopes wearing satin." Who does he mean, exactly? After all, though the current Crimson look like a fashionable firm of New York lawyers, they once epitomised the Tolkienesque fashions of the post-hippie era. But Fripp, 50 now, and the perfect softly spoken Dorset gentleman, wonít name names. "Iím loath to be drawn into making comments about other musicians, but I donít think I was really part of the progressive scene," he elaborates, "I was just playing music in that period."

King Crimson began recording and touring again in 1994, to the delight of a hard core of fans big enough to fill the Albert Hall, but can they ever escape the stigma of progressive rock, with its Mellotron-toting, Tory-voting, tax-evading practitioners and their Page Three wives? Remember now and wince at Yesís Tales From Topographic Oceans, at Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and at Rick Wakemanís King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table...on Ice. To add psychological credibility to the insane anti-hero of American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis makes him a rabid fan of the Phil Collins-era Genesis, and the preface to Paul Stumpís recent and disarmingly frank history of Progressive Rock, The Musicís All That Matters, is defensively entitled Author "Not Mad" Shock.

But the cultural embargo on all things progressive increasingly smacks of hypocrisy. The post-punk history of the world ignores John Lydonís love of Van Der Graaf Generator, accommodates progís more experimental German counterparts Can and Faust as "crazy dadaist Europeans", and tolerates arrogant follies of U2 that are every bit as embarrassing as Yes at their most vain and absurd. The current critical favourites Spiritualised, playing alongside the English Chamber Orchestra at the Barbican last month, conjured up memories of Soft Machineís big-band/art-rock fusion; and the much-lauded Radioheadís more sublime moments sound like nothing so much as mid-1970s King Crimson. Just, from Radioheadís album The Bends, lifts the guitar part of Crimsonís Red wholesale.

This week four current core members of King Crimson assemble incognito to offer four nights of live improvisations at Camdenís Jazz Cafe, under the moniker of Projekct One. A press release cites "expectations from audiences of established King Crimson repertoire" as a restric-tive factor in the bandís deve-lopment. Fripp has responded by forming Crimson "Projekcts" on both sides of the Atlantic, which he describes as "research and development fractals of King Crimson", after a recent Polish tour, where he realised that not playing the 1970s hits to an audience for whom the ticket price would be a monumental expenditure, was simply unfair.

Such perversity has always been part of the Crimson working method. Asked how he plucked the drummer Bill Bruford from Yes in 1972, where his talents perhaps werenít being exploited fully, Fripp diplomatically answers: "The muse descends on a group briefly, and takes them into its confidence and moves on, but time allows them to digest and apply the confidence that has been given. What usually happens is that the group tend to move towards obsolescence following success, and then droll repetition, whereas Crimson would take the information, deal with it, and then split up, as a response to the industry and the demands of its public. We break up, shake off all expectations and move on."

In its three decades King Crimson has shed more expectations than a reasonably healthy snake might shed skins. Formed in 1969, their first four albums offered a baroque jazz rock, alternately hobbled by a pre-ELP Greg Lake singing Pete Sinfieldís sword-and-sorcery fantasy and sleazy groupie-sex lyrics and elevated by Frippís distinctive, restless guitar playing. The live quadruple CD Epitaph, issued earlier this year, "shows the 1969 Crimson was not this monolith of received wisdom", says Fripp, "but actually a cracking little outfit for whom improvisation was a major part of what we did". Appropriately, a 1970 edition of Top of the Pops saw the future 1970s superstar Greg Lake playing alongside the then unknown jazz pianist Keith Tippett on Catfood, Crimsonís sole hit single.

In 1972 a new Crimson, including the free jazz percussionist Jamie Muir, fresh from Derek Bailey and Evan Parkerís Music Improvisation Company, recorded a definitive triumvirate of albums culminating in Red, whose angular, uncompromising and occasionally quite terrifying music was often pasted together from the more inspired moments of live recordings. A leanness and economy, and a big improvisatory group sound, rather than strings of virtuoso solos, differentiated Crimson from their flashy contemporaries.

In 1981, Fripp re-formed Crimson again after a lengthy US sabbatical, with American vocalist Adrian Belew on board to free-associate about urban living over Brufordís increasingly complex polyrhythms, the band abandon-ing their off-beat jazzy playing for a tight, machine precision derived from the New York No Wave symphonics of Glenn Branca and the minimalism of Steve Reich. "The vocabulary of rock music had changed," Fripp offers, "and if you were a musician who was at all involved in speaking with the accent and dialect of the time to people listening at that time, you had to know that. The 1981-to-1984 Crimson had absorbed and noted some of these lessons and did not refer very much to the vocabulary of 1972 to 1974."

So why reassemble Crimson in 1994? What has the band to offer now? How does Fripp know when the time is right? "How could you not know?" he splutters, breaking for the first time out of the considered calm that has hitherto characterised his answers. "You just know! When I met my wife I was a happy bachelor, and I proposed within a week. Why? Because she was my wife! I didnít know this was Toyah Wilcox the star, because Iíd been in America, but I instantly knew her as my wife. Likewise, when music appears that only King Crimson can play, King Crimson appears to play the music."

Finally, Fripp breaks off - "to give my beautiful wife a kiss and a cuddle before she goes off to London" - and retires. "Iím looking forward to listening to Radiohead," he says, genuinely curious. "Iíve just got back from the States and thereís a copy upstairs waiting for me."

This article originally appeared as a curtain-raiser to ProjeKct Oneís residency at the Jazz Cafe in London.


Fan Reviews

 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars6 out of 5 starsWhat music could be (if the music industry wasn't shit blood & death), Tue., Dec 16, 2008
Written by Chris_DeVito
Four nights in a club. What music used to be, might be, rarely is, but could be again. Well, I ainít no blardy music "con-o-sewer" or anything like that -- music is just my oxygen and H2O. Iím a fan and donít care who knows it. If it doesnít do anything for me Iím not going to try to vivisect it, Iíll just move on to something else that works for me. Like ProjeKct One -- a unique band, a one-off (unfortunately), but we have the recordings from here till eternity (closer than weíd all like to think). Just say itís the muttís nuts and leave it at that. --VideoChrist (with the forebearance of his good buddy Chris DeVito)

P.S. Tony Levin should do an album of unaccompanied upright bass!



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