|| December 04, 1997
|| Jazz Cafe London, England
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.
All previews are MP3 192kbps
Bill Bruford - Drums and Percussion
Robert Fripp - Guitar
Trey Gunn - Touch Guitar
Tony Levin - Bass and Stick
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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."
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"
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.
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."
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.
MORE PRESS CLIPPINGS
What 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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