Guitarist extraordinaire and musical theoretician of the highest order, Robert Fripp has dipped his talented fingers into a lot of pies over the years. Besides the many and still-mutating configurations of King Crimson, he's worked with Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Steve Vai, David Bowie and numerous others, often steering his compatriots into cerebral spaces that stretch all involved. He is ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." JamBase wishes a very happy birthday to one of the thinking man's greats.
We begin our scattershot walk through Fripp's sonic adventures with a heavy number from back in the day. If these 7-minutes don't fill you up you can continue the journey with Part Two here.
Here's Fripp discussing his philosophy about art and music while showing off his Frippertronics innovation and explaining how we're all turkeys" in live performance.
One of King Crimson's most beloved lineups was the early '80s grouping of Fripp, Adrian Belew (guitar, vocals), Tony Levin (bass, stick) and Bill Bruford (percussion), who captured the zeitgeist of the era with jittery skill.
His collaboration with ex-Japan man David Sylvian produced some of Fripp's most eloquent, beautiful playing ever, as evidenced by this live cut from the pair's 1993 tour.
Next, more vintage Crimson. This wonderfully strident beast really makes one want to gobble a sugar cube, eh? And dig the awesome coveralls on Bruford!
Another look at the Belew-Bruford-Levin-Fripp Crimson from The Old Grey Whistle Test.
Here's another glimpse into the prickly, brilliant mind of Fripp from 1979.
This more recent Crimson lineup falls into a pretty romantic groove on this excellent live track.
We conclude this birthday salute with a song that Les Claypool covered extensively in the early days of the Frog Brigade. Despite being close to 30 years old it still bubbles with something indestructibly modern.
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