Palazzo Dello Sport

The second night of King Crimson’s first ever visit to Italy turns out to be an astonishingly powerful gig. If you ever doubted how formidable John Wetton was as a bassist you need only listen to this frenetic rendition of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic. After the cross-picking section there comes a storming blowing section in which Wetton holds forth between slashing chords from the guitarist, the pair of them passing the baton between each other as the piece rages toward the violin solo.

It’s Wetton once again who takes the lead in the improv coming out of Easy Money. Although Bruford’s percussive embellishments are somewhat lost to the boomy sonics of the venue Wetton’s string-popping outing is intensely rhythmic providing a focal point for the audience to latch onto. As the funk-flavoured blasts bed down with a Bruford groove, we can hear Fripp introducing the opening section of a motif that would eventually become Fracture. As it curls around the drums and bass like a spider spinning a web it feels like a case of the future reaching back into the present to pull the musicians forward. Fripp brings in another section of Fracture into this superb mix of pure improv and speculative sketches being knitted together in real time.

If that improv isn't enough to keep you on the edge of your seat then the one that comes out of Book Of Saturday features Cross and Wetton in a stately, elegiac mood that brings to mind the opening section of Starless. From there, things rapidly escalate into surging riptide of chordal soloing from Fripp and combative, driving playing from the Crimson Brick Wall aka Bruford and Wetton. Without a doubt, this is one of the best improvs by this quartet on a tour that produce so many breathtaking forays into collective playing.
TRACK
TIME
01
Dr Diamond
04:15
02
Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt I
11:44
03
RF Announcement
01:58
04
Easy Money
07:15
05
Improv I
09:48
06
Exiles
06:39
07
Book Of Saturday
02:49
08
Improv II
10:47
09
The Talking Drum
05:42
10
Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt II
06:58
11
21st Century Schizoid Man
07:49

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Written by Charles D Hundersmarck
Great show for Robert and David fans despite audio quality
Just put on this show absentmindedly and it has carried me away! The audio quality leaves a lot to be desired, but you can at least hear Robert and David really well, which is unusual to find a bootleg where they both can be heard well. It seems particularly rare for Robert to be so clear in this era, his guitar is the most prominent instrument through much of Exiles for instance. And notes about the recording quality aside, what a performance! You can hear Broof has already come up with some creative ways to make up for the absence of Jamie, filling in some creative Jamie style light percussive flourishes in Larks I rather than the more personal heavy/loud take he starts doing on it later. David and Robert are both on their A+ game with their improvised leads. The proto-Fracture in Improv I is rascinating, David's violin at the beginning of Improv II is so beautiful I didn't want it to end. Overall, if you can get over the sound quality (DGMLive gives it a 3 for quality, I'd say more like 2) then this show is a solid 5* performance for the 1973 band.
Written by Guillaume LEQUIEN
A true gem !
This recording is a true gem for us KC collectors, and it’s been a long time i’ve not been so astonished by a new performance from 1973. Don’t expect soundboard clarity, the in-between-songs banter is loud enough, but it vanishes as soon as the music turns on. The sonic heroes in this recording are RF’s guitar and JW’s bass. It’s a pity we can’t hear the drums clearly enough, and DC’s violin is used to be buried in the mix. The keyword regarding this recording would be : fire & fury. The fury of the guitar throughout the pieces. In LTIA the first solo guitar lead is both very fast and entirely under control, and the bass work shines with subtle variations all along the performance, for instance in the quiet part of LTIA2. As is usual for the Larks quartet, the improvs take us to another dimension of aural bliss. The first improv starts with enfuriated bass, the violin screams join in, and by 3 minutes RF’s guitar launches into the first section of Fracture, which hadn’t been officially composed yet by this date. Clearly Fripp is not exactly improvising here, these lines already have a steady rhythm and shape, he probably wrote this arrangement earlier and he’s now laying the motifs to let his musical mates fill in. It is not Fracture yet, rather a free-jazz improv around Fracture, by 7 minutes they all set the full improv mode again, the violin takes it all in the end and segues into Exiles. The second improv is very different in tone, and can be divided into two distinct parts. During the first 3-minutes part, violin and bass interlock in a slow pastoral mode, aerial guitar joins in, Bruford’s input is very light. Wetton’s improvising bass is leading everyone into the second part, the drumming gets more intense and the overall fury gets back. DC switches to mellotron for the descending part. In 21stCSM it’s fun to hear enthusiastic Italian fans sing along the first verse, then the guitar solo takes it all, the recording stops abruptly after the final notes. All in all a true gem, thanks DGM ! Audio quality rating : 3/5 Performance quality rating : 5/5
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