|P2 At Albany Again
|:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 20, 2012
My thanks to J Eric Smith for sending in this marvelous review of P2 playing Albany. You can hear the gig that Eric is writing about here.
Eric writes "I was a music critic (for better or worse) in Albany, New York for many years. My wife and I recently relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, and as part of launching a web presence in my new home community, I have been reviewing old archives of my work for items that might lend themselves to new purposes. I found a ProjeKCt Two live review (copied below) while digging through old floppy discs and files, and thought I would share it here, since I have not seen many other formal newsprint reviews from that era posted here. It was a lovely show, one that I still cite as one of my all-time favorite live performances.
Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany, New York, May 8, 1998
Copyright 1998, J. Eric Smith (Originally appeared in Metroland, The Alternative Newsweekly of Northeastern New York)
"OK, now we’ve played everything we don’t know,so we can play something that we actually do know," announced electronic drummer Adrian Belew at the end of ProjeKct Two’s second all-instrumental, all-improvised set. Belew, 10-string Warr guitarist Trey Gunn and electric six-string guitarist Robert Fripp then encored with King Crimson’s "Vrooom," an angular number originally created by Fripp, Belew, Gunn and their Crimson bandmates Tony Levin, Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto.
As nice as it was to hear "Vrooom," the true value of the encore was to place the evening’s improvisational extravaganza in context by providing a single sample of how ProjeKct Two sounded when tackling a fully developed and structured instrumental piece. Frankly speaking, the encore paled in comparison to the 90 minutes of music preceding it, as its rehearsed complexities and nuances were nowhere near as impressive as the knotty, towering sound collages that ProjeKct Two created on the fly as the rapt audience watched and listened.
Fripp, Belew and Gunn were watching and listening to each other as well, and much of the thrill of this concert came from witnessing the interactions between these deeply talented musicians who have played together long enough to anticipate each other’s thoughts, sometimes before they eve realize that they’ve had them. Belew or Fripp typically opened each number with a drum or guitar pattern that the other musicians would would investigate, mount and ride, sometimes to loud and uplifting summits, sometimes to quiet, scary grottoes, sometimes back to the point at which they started. It was actually harrowing to experience in many cases, as the trio careened just on this side of control as they rode, the looks on their faces indicating that it was just as thrilling (and frightening) for them as it was their audience.
As important as technical prowess was to the concert’s success, mention must also be made of ProjeKct Two’s technological proficiancy. Belew was playing the latest generation of Roland virtual drums, allowing him to create a seemingly infinite number of sonic assaults as he clattered and rattled along with a look-Ma-I’ve-got drums grin on his face. (Understandable, given that he’s normally a guitarist.) Gunn matched Belew’s rhythmic and textural intensity as he tapped, stroked and and beat the touchboard of his Warr guitar.
Fripp spun out any number of his trademark spine-tingling sustained guitar lines but also used the treatment technology he has developed over the years via his Soundscape and Frippertronic performance experiments to create a wealth of tones and intonations. At times, the bands’ sounds were so far skewed from what your eyes were reporting to your brain that it was almost psychologically easier to look at the floor and imagine that Fripp was playing cluster chords on some beaten-up jazz-hall piano while Gunn blew on a baritone sax and Belew kept time by tapping on whisky bottles and ashtrays. Crazy, man, crazy.
All told, ProjeKct Two’s concert was a magnificent one, and I must confess to feeling great relief in being able to report that. Why? Because Robert Fripp’s written and recorded works have done more to shape both how I listen to and how I think about music than have any other artist’s over the last two decades, although I never actually stood in the same space with Fripp until last Friday. So imagine the potential for debilitating disappointment at this show, and then imagine the transcendent relief and joy when it didn’t come to pass. It literally moved me to tears. And how often can a wordless concert do that?"
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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Dec 22, 2013
Trey Gunn, currently hiking in India, has updated his Facebook page with reports of a collision with a motorcycle. Fortunately, every one concerned was bruised but otherwise fine. For those without Facebook. here's his account of the incident.
"In Udaipur, Rajasthan. Fantastic city with lakes and temples and hills and towering buildings. Plus some super great food.
I have a fantastic collision with a motorcycle last night. The streets
are an obstacle courses and a half. And so it seems my timing is quite
different from the locals -- they move a bit slower and more consistent.
Joe and I were crossing a relatively smallish, but very busy,
street as I saw my opening and began to move. I turned back to look the
other way and there was a motorcycle headlight bearing right down on
me. My body leapt out of the way and I crashed right into another cycle
coming from the other direction with no headlamp on. My body retained it
composure and, even though I couldn't see anything, I cleaned knocked
the guy and his motorcycle over. I was still standing, though pretty
stunned. The whole street stopped moving and fell silent as we gathered
ourselves back together.
In the normal Indian fashion he was way more concerned about me than either himself or his bike."
The Road To Red At Home 20
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Dec 21, 2013
My thanks to Pekka Ranta from Finland for this one of The Road To Red box. Pekka writes "The Precision Bass is on it too because the booklet pictures of ladies-man Wetton made me think about painting the bass white and removing the scratchplate. I'll pass the leather shirt 'though."
The Road To Red At Home 19
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Dec 19, 2013
According to Ryan, he’s got a big smile on his face down in Murfreesboro, TN. Here’s why...
Fripp In Nashville
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Dec 16, 2013
In 2004 Robert Fripp recorded what amounts to a studio album in just one take in this soundscapes session.
You can download it here.
The Road To Red At Home 18
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Dec 16, 2013
Zonga Dude writes "The Road To Red has joined its fellow British box set companions, here in France."
And The Winner Is...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Dec 15, 2013
Congratulations to Guy Vella in Florida. Guy was able to tell me that the name of the guitarist with whom Tony Levin and Alan White collaborated with in 2011 was none other than David Torn. Guy's name was picked at random from the fickle fedora of fate and as a result, he wins a copy of Levin, Minnemann Rudess.
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