Jazz Cafe London England

Jazz Cafe London England

With the applause of the first night ringing in the rafters at the Jazz Café, the mood behind stage was confident, even bullish – people were enjoying themselves. After what counts as arguably the most brooding and mysterious introductions ever made by the projeKcts (Levin’s upright bass is just sensational with spooky embellishments on the glockenspiel courtesy of Bill), there follows a lengthy bass jam from Gunn, Levin and Fripp. Never has so much bottom-end been pushed, prodded and rippled in the service of music as is done here. I’m not sure you’d want to hear a whole gig of it (and I’m not sure any of the players concerned would either) so fortunately things move forward at a sprightly pace, with 2i2 benefiting from an especially savage workout from Fripp. Some improvisations are tentative in nature whilst others blast ahead without a second glance. Things lurch into Smoke On The Water-style territory on 2ii1, whilst the appearance of a venerable drum machine setting the tempo takes folks by surprise on 2i5; if you like to hear Fripp and Gunn rocking out then these ones will do it for you. Also of interest here is 2i4 which has many elements of Deception of the Thrush and a sci-fi tingler to close the second night in a dizzying wave of radiophonics.

AUDIO SOURCE: Adat Multi-Track

DGM AUDIO QUALITY

AVERAGE CUSTOMER RATING

TRACK
TIME
01
2 i 1
12:54
02
2 i 2
07:23
03
2 i 3
07:27
04
2 i 4
08:25
05
2 i 5
06:23
06
2 i 6
05:33
07
2 i 7
06:08
01
2 ii 1
13:25
02
2 ii 2
11:08
03
2 ii 3
06:42
04
2 ii 4
08:33
05
2 ii 5
11:04

P119971202London - Simon Calkin

BROWSE SHOWS WITH PHOTOS

Written by Andrew Thomas
Fasten your seatbelts, the ProjeKct is about to take flight
The second night of P1 is notable for the ways in which the musicians can stay locked in, grooves aflight, for longer and longer stretches of time; overall a much tighter night than the first and a rousing next step for the ProjeKct. The dark opening of 2 i 1 clearly shows the band on firmer footing; its seven and a half minutes of probing, while still rather open, reveal greater confidence and clarity. And it doesn't take long for the band to lock in to more aggressive territory - 2 i 2 flat out scorches - strings and rhythms aggressive but controlled with some marvelous distorted soloing, realizing the unfulfilled potential of the '97 Nashville Rehearsals. Though P2 was technically the first ProjeKct into action, its initial efforts (captured on the Space Groove album) felt like a signal from another world. P1 is spiritually the direct successor to the Nashville Rehearsals, both in the riffage and in the rhythmic territory. 2 ii 1 has them beginning the second set by taking another swing at Presidents (aka the riffs that would grow into The ConstruKction Of Light), though only the opening bears that similarity at this point - Bruford always threw a radically different groove onto it, so the elaborations and developments are very different than what would grow into the official song. Still, it's rather more productive than how it began at Nashville, which felt like an idea being pulled in multiple rhythmic directions. Aligned more purely with Bruford's danceable inclination, it fully takes flight toward that end, and ranks as one of the most successful portions of the evening. The second set closer is also furiously exciting - a driving improv that keeps its intensity and focus for all of its 11 minutes. The rate at which ProjeKct One is developing focus and clarity is inspiring, growing by leaps with each successive set, and the second night at the Jazz Cafe captures the four of them growing into a formidable beast of their own.
Written by William Jenks
The band warms up
This is not my favorite outing from this line-up, but it does have some great moments. As a whole, I think the show gets batter as it goes on. The house blurb describes the first piece well, and the next couple are pretty forgettable. 2i4 has more of a soundscape feel for a while until a piano-like sound comes in with a nice line. 2i5 starts with some "record scratching" sounds followed by intro of base and more sweeping guitar, but then something much more lively has erupted by 3 minutes in. 2i6 has a very, very different thematic theme — not planned-sounding, but still, it develop. By 2i7, we are getting to material you'll definitely want to listen to more frequently. I understand the blurb's reference to Smoke on the Water for 2ii1, but don't let that faze you on way or the other. This is clearly improvised, and the interplay of recognizable touch and ordinary guitar is very interesting. This is a show highlight. The percussion line in 2ii2 might be called more conventional, but it also is very well connected to the playing going on...more than some of the "free jazz" percussion elsewhere. I downloaded the tour and I will surely come back to this recording from time to time. If I were picking one show of the four to sample, I'd probably choose another of them.
Written by Christopher DeVito
Jazz Cafe 12-02-97
The ProjeKcts were presented as "research and development" arms of King Crimson, but I quickly found that I had no interest in listening to them on those terms. Instead, I simply listen to each ProjeKct on its own terms, as a musical end in itself. The ProjeKcts were primarily improvising groups; this means the tunes don’t always (or even often) lead to a "proper" resolution, or follow the rules of composition -- or even "good taste" (the enemy of art). This is a positive attribute. ProjeKct One feels, to me, like the most fully realized of the ProjeKcts. I think that each of the eight sets played and recorded over this four-night gig is a great album in itself and the whole thing would make a great eight-disc box set. (Actually I made my own 12-disc set, adding an 80-minute "best of" disc for each night.) December 2 feels a little different, to me, than December 1 -- the "brooding and mysterious" intros (they called that style "mysterioso" back in the 1950s) are captivating, but overall these sets seem a little less intense than the previous night’s sets, but maybe have more breadth. In any case I find that they stand up under repeated listening. The 2ii3-4-5 sequence (or "Blue Balls Rising," as I call it) is a particularly interesting mysterioso-rock-jazz-spacemusic suite. P1 was a great band, and we’re lucky all four nights at the Jazz Cafe were recorded, since the group was a one-off. If you have any appreciation for the improvising side of Crimson, I think you’ll really like ProjeKct One (and all the other ProjeKcts). --Chris DeVito
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