From cautious beginnings Improv II quickly expands into lolloping beast of a track providing what is arguably the best set-up to Exiles to date. As Cross and Wetton hurl fuzzed lines across the stage over one of Bruford’s slow-burning jazz vamps, Fripp introduces one sustained note that lasts somewhere in the region of 37 seconds. An object lesson in making a little go a long way.
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.
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.
The Elements Of King Crimson is a special limited edition 'tour box' created exclusively for sale at King Crimson's concerts and via the band's official online outlets. The set contains a 24 page tour booklet and two CDs containing extracts, elements from studio recordings, alternate takes, live tracks, rehearsals and finished recordings from 1969 - 2014 (much of it previously unreleased on CD).
Released to coincide with the 46th anniversary of King Crimson's formation in January 1969, Live At The Orpheum comprises performances from the band's critically acclaimed, sold-out 2014 US tour. 41 minutes of live material from the new seven piece King Crimson line-up, including classics such as Starless, Sailor's Tale and The Letters. CD (16/44.1 stereo) / DVD-A (24/96 Hi-Res stereo) in digipak.
King Crimson achieved the rare feat of marrying their hard-fought, hard-hitting prog sound with the bristling energy of new wave on this 1981 triumph, which nearly cracked the Top 40. The title cut; Frame by Frame; The Sheltering Sky , and the rest of the original LP featuring Fripp, Buford, Levin and Belew is here on CD in a new stereo mix with bonus alternate mixes. The DVD-Audio disc adds a 5.1 DTS mix, hi-res stereo mix, original album mix, new album mix and even a rough mix from the original sessions. On top of that, you get the 1981 12" dance mix of Elephant Talk and other audio extras plus footage of The Old Grey Whistle Test performances, new notes co-written by Fripp and more!