Released in 1981, "Discipline" was a startling reinvention with a new line-up performing radically different material that managed to delight fans, confound critics & pick up a substantial new audience along the way.
30 years on, "Discipline" remains one of the key albums of the early 1980s and one of the most popular and influential in King Crimson's catalogue.
This Japanese box set contains three consecutive entries in King Crimson's live and studio archival releases. The specific volumes in question are the tenth, 11th, and 13th from Discipline Global Mobile's Collectors' Club mail-order-only series covering Live in Central Park, NYC '74, the pre-Krim Discipline: Live at Moles Club, 1981, and the last gasp of the '90s double-trio incarnation on the Nashville Rehearsals, 1997. The July 1, 1974, concert in Central Park was the final King Crimson performance by the '70s quartet. While the recording is very good - not great - the group's spirited musical antics more than make up for any lack of audio fidelity…
This is King Crimson’s first performance in front of a crowd since they had wowed the punters at Le Spectrum (documented on Absent Lovers) back in 1984. Essentially a dress rehearsal in front of invited guests and the South American press, the tickets that had been made available sold out in two hours flat.
Prior to this concert, it had been seven months since the Double Trio had last assembled before an audience in Argentina. The first gig of any tour is always a slightly fraught affair; anything that can go wrong probably will. Gear will futz, fingers and feet will lie to their owners and the sound could well be unsound as the entire crew get to grips with the task of presenting nearly two hours of challenging music. Understandably perhaps then, this version of Discipline is not an assertive statement but more a gentle easing in, marking out their territory. A slow burning version of Vrooom sounds more confident, especially on the remorseless spiraling coda, though like Frame By Frame which follows, is not without the occasional wobble.
There are some nights when the energy flows within Crimso and this gig is certainly one of those. Vrooom though to Dinosaur seem to be possessed of a glowering intensity that one wonders how they will be able to sustain such power. The answer is to dial things down a little with the inclusion of an elegant rendition of One Time. B’Boom and Thrak reconnect Crim to some tumultuous forces including Adrian’s patented power-drill noise generator, Levin’s prowling bass and a brief but nonetheless laser-guided solo from Trey Gunn of the kind he would throw about during ProjeKct 2. Within the space of only a few minutes all kinds of musical landscapes are created and regenerated amidst the ever-changing turbulence.
Highlights Limited Edition Box Set include:
* 9cds including new Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp stereo mixes of Discipline (2011), Beat (2016) and Three of a Perfect Pair (2016), and the final concert from each of the band's tours: Japan 1981 (new to CD), Germany 1982 (new mixes for this edition), Canada (Absent Lovers) 1984 (remastered for this edition)
* 2cds of additional studio recordings including 1 cd containing edited and expanded of sessions for the abandoned third album and a 'making of…' CD featuring studio snippets and outtakes from across the studio recordings (providing a fascinating audio insight into the 'Crimson process')
While the music made by Bill Bruford's earlier Earthworks band was consistently more interesting, his current lineup continues to make great strides given its more traditional stance (post-bop acoustic piano/saxophone quartet verses ultra-modern Euro-jazz fusion). On the live Footloose and Fancy Free, the group exceeds its own studio performances with room to spare. The lovely ballad "Come to Dust" is a fine showcase for pianist Steve Hamilton, and Bruford's punchy drumming moves a complex "Triplicity." Even non-Earthworks tunes from Bruford's late-'90s collaborations with Tony Levin ("Original Sin") and Ralph Towner ("If Summer Had Its Ghosts") get inspiring interpretations as well, thanks to the well-seasoned playing of both tenor/alto saxophonist Patrick Calahar and Hamilton.
This recording chronicles the live performances of Bruford Levin Upper Extremities from 1998. The disc showcases the band's unique blend of jazzy modes with Crimson-esque textures and, occasionally, just plain weirdness. Many of the tracks become looser jams in the live performance. For those who saw this tour, the disc will be a great memento. For those who didn't, it will serve as a shining example of what they missed, and encouragement to be more careful not to pass up subsequent tours. The band is Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, Chris Botti, and David Torn.
They really enjoyed this one!If you listen carefully at the end of a particularly convincing rendition of LTIA Pt.II you can hear the excitement (or perhaps relief?) of the band at the end of the gig as they congratulate each other and decide to do yet another encore! Thanks to the vagaries of this soundboard mix we get a close-up view of Fripp’s fingerwork on the ever-so-slightly incomplete opener, Discipline. It’s a claustrophobic mix that initially largely excludes the bass and drums (quite a feat when you think about it) but thankfully widens out as the set progresses.