All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


King Crimson at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier / Massey Hall

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
To be crystal clear: King Crimson 2014-2017 is unequivocally not a tribute band, a legacy band or any other of the epithets applied to so many bands from back in the day that have reformed in recent times to capitalize on the burgeoning progressive rock revival of the past couple of decades. In fact, Crimson sits alongside Van der Graaf Generator as, perhaps, one of but a few bands of such longevity to not only reinvigorate its older material with a fresh approach, but to add new material that, with its own distinctive personality, fits as comfortably and with as much strength as the music that made it famous in the first place. And while VdGG remains a thrilling live act that has, out of necessity, been forced to rearrange its material for the trio version that emerged following co-founder David Jackson's departure after its 2005 comeback album Present (Virgin/Charisma, 2005) and accompanying tour, Crimson's approach to much of its 40+ year-old material— barring those where the signatures are so prevalent as to demand greater literalism—is far, far freer.

Fourth, since 2014 the lineup has included a couple of Fripp-penned instrumentals from the three-decade "Adrian Belew" years—when the charismatic guitarist/vocalist was a key member of Crimson incarnations from Discipline (E.G., 1981) through to the brief 2008 swan song tour, with Gavin Harrison added to The Power to Believe quartet lineup, documented on the download-only Park West, Chicago, Illinois August 7, 2008 (DGM Live, 2008)—specifically the high octane "VROOOM/Coda: Marine 475," from the Double Trio's sole full-length studio album, THRAK (Virgin, 1995), and the Nuevo Metal of The Power to Believe's "Level Five" and lighter but far knottier title track to the same Double Duo's 1999 Virgin Records debut, The ConstruKction of Light.

Now, however, two surprising vocal additions to the Double Quartet Formation's repertoire have been culled from Crimson's '80s re-emergence as a radically reinvented group, with three studio albums of a significantly altered complexion when compared to any of its late '60s/'early-to-mid-'70s incarnations. But, of course, beyond an eight-piece group expanding upon this material in ways Crimson's original quartet and sextet simply could not, Jakszyk's vocal interpretations of both songs also represented a radical departure...but more about that later.

Fifth—and by no means not just not least, but not even the final reason, but best to stop here for the moment—with Rieflin fulfilling the role of full-time keyboardist, and with Stacey and Fripp adding even more keyboards when required—the "seven-headed Beast of Crim" may have been the first live lineup ever capable of playing original studio material from across the decades without having to eliminate key compositional parts that were simply were impossible for its four, five and even six-piece incarnations. Now, however, this newly-minted Double Quartet Formation possesses even greater facility and latitude in bringing the multitude of original studio parts (or fresh interpretations of same) to the Crimson concert experience—as Fripp has always appropriately called them, "hot dates," in contrast to the "love letters" of its studio albums.

Between its Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal show at Place des Arts' almost 3,000- seat Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (a bump from the 2,200 capacity of 2015's Théâtre St-Denis) and performance, two nights later, at Toronto's legendary, 2,750-seat Massey Hall (a major leap from the Ontario capital's 1,250 capacity Queen Elizabeth Hall the same year)—in Montréal, Crimson included a full six tunes not heard previously during either its 2014 USA or 2015 Canadian tours (and one that has never been performed live prior to its 2016 dates); one brand new original; a David Bowie song (on which Fripp's silkily sustaining lines were an essential part of its fabric); a reworking of a song from 1970's In the Wake of Poseidon (Island, 1970), played on previous dates since 2015; and a new Fripp original introduced in 2014, but played just three times during its last Canadian tour. In Toronto, all of these pieces were also in the set list, barring the short track from Poseidon.


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read 2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit Live Reviews
2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall 2018 Live Reviews
Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café Live Reviews
Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Cologne Open 2018 Live Reviews
Cologne Open 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Jon Faddis at The Wheel Live Reviews
Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre Live Reviews
Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre
by Eric Thiessen
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Brussels Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Brussels Jazz Festival 2018
by Martin Longley
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Bonerama at the Iridium" Live Reviews Bonerama at the Iridium
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival" Live Reviews Willie Nelson's Outlaw Festival
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash" Live Reviews Jim Beard And Jon Herington At The Kennett Flash
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Marquis Hill Blacktet at Scullers Jazz Club" Live Reviews Marquis Hill Blacktet at Scullers Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Ellington's Nutcracker at The Jazz Corner" Live Reviews Ellington's Nutcracker at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: December 25, 2017