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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.

****************************

ProjeKct Two
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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Wetton's New York Minute
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Mar 5, 2015
Having just finished touring with UK, John Wetton has two albums released this week. First up is a live recording of John with the Les Paul Trio recorded at the Iridium Club entitled New York Minute. The second disc is a 2-disc anthology covering John's solo studio work. 


The Power To Believe
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Mar 5, 2015
The last King Crimson studio album, The Power To Believe (released in 2003) receives an appraisal right here


ProjeKct Aaaaaaaah!
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 4, 2015
King Crimson ProjeKcts are featured in a new movie out this year with the intriguing title of Aaaaaaaah! Alongside Toyah Willcox, the film gathers together some well-known names as the poster reveals...
 




More details can be found here.

King Crimson In Paris
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 4, 2015
My thanks to Lucho Brajal for sending in this picture taken by his cousin Americo Brajal on the Paris Metro...



All of which seems like a timely reminder, that just in case you missed the news, King Crimson are touring in August and September.

Mon     31st Aug, Friars, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Tues    1st Sept, Friars, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Wed    3rd Sept, St.David’s Hall, Cardiff
Sat    5th Sept, Dome Concert Hall, Brighton
Mon    7th Sept, Hackney Empire, London
Tues    8th Sept, Hackney Empire, London
Fri    11th Sept, Lowry, Manchester,
Mon    14th Sept, Symphony Hall,Birmingham
Thurs    17th Sept, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Mon    21st Sept, Olympia, Paris
Tue     22nd Sept, Olympia, Paris
Thurs    24th Sept, Tivoliredenburg, Utrecht
Fri    25th Sept, Tivoliredenburg, Utrecht



Jakko And Gavin Again
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 4, 2015
If you missed Jakko and Gavin's recent appearance on Radio Verulam, you can listen to the interviews on their catch-up site. 


Bruford & Crimson!
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 3, 2015
Bill Bruford will be talking about King Crimson and more in a pre-concert Q&A at a performance by the Delta Sax Quartet. The quartet who have in the past tackled repertoire by Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and Soft Machine will be performing ex-Earthworks pianist Gwilym Simcock's latest composition, Crimson! which re-imagines some of the Crimson canon. The talk and concert takes place on Sunday March 15th at Surrey University. You can check out the details and costs over on the website.


On This Day 12 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Mar 3, 2015
King Crimson were scheduled to play The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. However, Adrian fell ill and was unable to play. Rather than cancel the concert, Robert, Pat and Trey decided to do a P3 show with an offer of a refund for anyone disappointed not to be seeing the full line-up.

Pat Mastelotto recalls "Almost always Robert, Trey and I soundcheck before Adrian. He likes to get in and out of the venue as soon as possible so he comes just before. The rest of us would come early, rehearse and practice all the way through. So it wasn't that peculiar that Adrian wasn't there right away. Then as it got closer to the end of soundcheck and he still wasn't there that's when the decision was made to offer a refund or have P3 play. It was fairly last minute."

After P3 had finished the trio took the front of the stage to do a question and and answer session which lasted just under half and hour. You can download that Q&A for free right here. The KC as P3 gig is available for purchase right here.


Happy Birthday Michael Giles
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Mar 1, 2015
Birthday greetings and a bottle of wine go to Michael Giles who celebrates his birthday this very day. In the meantime, check out this update from Michael over on his blog! 


Trey On The Road
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Feb 28, 2015
If you still hold to the notion that life on the road with a touring band is an endless procession of glamour and good times, then read the latest diary updates from Trey Gunn who’s currently out with Security Project. 


The Court Of The Oxfam King
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Feb 28, 2015
My thanks to Natron who writes "Good to see Oxfam know how to grab the attention of music lovers when advertising their online shop!"


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