It is interesting to hear Crimson working through their new composed material in this show. Fripp’s solo in the Nightwatch is beautifully eloquent and Bruford’s light cymbal work and rim shots add a special sparkle in the final verse.
Fracture is given an especially good reading here with the piece not yet entirely fixed into its final iteration with a spacious blowing section which Fripp takes full advantage of before the biting chords section kicks in. The end section with the furious distortion between electric piano and the guitar with Wetton’s descending bass is hair-raising stuff. If that wasn’t good enough after the punchy bombast of Lament, yet another track that would have been unfamiliar to the audience that night, Fripp then announces “We are about to venture into uncharted territories” and off they go into another improvisation.
Against the backdrop of the rhythm box various members of the quartet dart and dive across the beats with a variety of interjections. David Cross turns in an especially robust violin solo in between Fripp’s spiky jabs and Wetton’s funk-driven rumbling broadsides. When Bruford kicks in with a righteous backbeat after some eight minutes the effect is not unlike the ecstatic release of the title track of Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way. It’s a stunning moment.
The sound quality varies throughout this concert because it was reconstructed from varying sources which originally ran at different speeds and pitches by Alex ‘Stormy’ Mundy. Nevertheless Alex has essentially crafted a spiffy recreation of a great night.