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Jakko M. Jakszyk: Secrets & Lies


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Jakko M. Jakszyk: Secrets & Lies
Life often unfolds in unexpected ways. For some, like Jakko M. Jakszyk, it has taken some truly surprising twists and turns. That the 62 year-old multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter has attained considerably greater visibility in the last ten years than in the previous 35 has, to say the least, righted a significant wrong. Which makes the release of Secrets & Lies, Jakszk's first solo album since the The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (Iceni, 2006) and its 2009, self-released companion piece, Waves Sweep the Sand, cause for celebration.

Jakszyk's history on the UK music scene, crossing genres and gradually finding his way into circles occupied by some of those who were musical heroes during his formative years, has demonstrated a slow but inexorable and inevitable path to where he is now. As lead singer, guitarist, and occasional flautist and keyboardist in the current seven-piece King Crimson lineup, Jakszyk has toured, barring the current year's pandemic restrictions, every year since 2014. The longest-lasting lineup in the group's lengthy, off again/on again career, Jakszyk has also been a member of its most unusual three-drummer front line incarnation. Many believe that this current lineup is also the band's best. That's no mean feat, considering a fifty-plus year career that has seen the group shift gears so many times that even the reductionist progressive rock label of its groundbreaking debut, In the Court of the Crimson King (Panegyric, 1969), has been rendered far too constraining.

Jakszyk first came to attention in the UK through 64 Spoon's curious blend of disco and West Coast pop and rock, all filtered through progressive rock and classical influences. The band ultimately broke up in 1980, after all attempts to fit its stylistic square peg into the music industry's round hole failed, and to which Jakszyk has dryly reflected: "They say that success is largely down to timing. Well, we timed it perfectly. We were the wrong band at the wrong time." Still, 64 Spoons, and Jaksyzk in particular, came to the attention of some of the guitarist's heroes, most notably former Hatfield and the North/National Health keyboardist Dave Stewart and drummer Pip Pyle. This led to Jakszyk's brief tenure, with Stewart, Pyle and bassist Rick Biddulph, in the short-lived Rapid Eye Movement.

Between numerous attempts at a solo record that were ultimately scuttled for a variety of reasons, Jakszyk spent four years as guitarist for Level 42 in the early '90s, a nanosecond with the Kinks, and some time with bassist/singer/songwriter Tom Robinson, the latter resulting in the pop-centric We Never Had It So Good (Musidisc, 1990). He also collaborated with Peter and Kristoffer Blegvad, John Greaves, and Anton Fier in the short-lived New York-based band The Lodge, which released its lone album, The Smell of a Friend (Island), in 1988.

But if Jakszyk's career seemed, at the time, to be a frustrating mix of what ifs and what could have beens, he remained persistently active. He finally released an EP, The Kingdom of Dust, and his first full-length solo album, Mustard Gas And Roses, in 1994 on the Resurgence imprint. Prior to that, Jakszyk collaborated with drummer Gavin Harrison, classical Indian singer/percussionist Pandit Dinesh and renowned Pentangle alum, double bassist Danny Thompson, in Dizrhythmia, releasing an impressive eponymous Antilles debut in 1988.

That album was something of a turning point for Jakszyk, fusing world music with art rock concerns and featuring guests including Dave Stewart, singer Peter Blegvad and pedal steel guitarist B.J. Cole. Dizrhythmia was such a good experience for the band that it reunited, in 2016, for the stellar, self-released Dizrhythmia Too, with pianist Dave Stewart now a de facto member alongside guests including former Japan keyboardist Richard Barbieri and John Thirkell, the trumpeter who guests on two of Secrets & Lies' eleven tracks.

Throughout the many years that led to his ultimate invitation to join King Crimson in September 2013, Jakszyk remained a somewhat ubiquitous musical presence, even as greater public attention remained elusive. He contributed to projects by artists including Barbieri, Gavin Harrison, Peter Blegvad, Pip Pyle, former Japan bassist Mick Karn, and Dave Stewart's post-1980 "pop music for adults" duo with singer Barbara Gaskin. By 2002, it's no hyperbole to suggest that Jakszyk may not have been a household name, but with musicians in the progressive/art rock sphere and beyond? An increasingly visible presence.

Most fortuitously, Jakszyk would become guitarist and lead vocalist for 21st Century Schizoid Band from 2002-2004 (a play on the title of In the Court of the Crimson King's searing jazz-meets-metal opener, "21st Century Schizoid Man"), a group the guitarist/vocalist was instrumental in bringing together. Barring Jakszyk, 21SCB was comprised of musicians who had played with early incarnations of King Crimson between 1969 and 1972. 21SCB was a repertory group whose set lists were largely drawn from Crimson compositions released between 1969 and 1974, alongside songs drawn from from McDonald and Giles (Island, 1971) and occasional new music.

As the only founding member to still be working in the various lineups that followed King Crimson's highly successful debut, guitarist and occasional keyboardist Robert Fripp was not interested in participating with 21st Century Schizoid Band; after all, the Crimson lineup responsible for The ConstruKction of Light (Panegyric, 2000) and then-forthcoming The Power to Believe (Panegyric, 2003) was still active. That said, Fripp did give 21CSB his blessing to perform music that, for the most part, he'd had a major role in writing.

In 21CSB's roughly three-year lifespan, Jakszyk was faced with the daunting task of simultaneously singing and replicating much of Fripp's innovative and oftentimes complicated guitar work. Fripp was, indeed, impressed with Jakszyk's ability to manage the musical equivalent of simultaneously rubbing his stomach and patting his head. It's a skill clearly heard on Pictures of a City: Live in New York (Iceni, 2006), the fourth and final live recording released by 21CSB and recorded near the end of April, 2004, just a few days before the band ceased to exist.

Fast forward a decade, and Jakszyk was on the road with a revised, revived and revitalized King Crimson, its short 2014 North American tour documented at San Francisco's Warfield Theater, and on the relatively brief Live at the Orpheum (Panegyric, 2015).

Alongside Fripp and Jakszyk, this revised Crimson has collected Crimson/Crimson-related alum from across its various periods to play music spanning its entire career, along with judiciously introduced new material and the occasional improv. Bassist/stick player/background vocalist Tony Levin was first heard on the band's 1981 game-changer, Discipline (Panegyric), while woodwind/reed multi-instrumentalist Mel Collins made his debut appearance on Crimson's sophomore effort, In the Wake of Poseidon (Panegyric, 1970).

However, with Fripp's vision for a new Crimson placing three drummers in the front line, Jakszyk, Levin and Collins joined the guitarist/keyboardist in the band's back line, a most unusual move that gave the group something of an orchestral, electro-acoustic percussion section up front and, in one case, a keyboardist who could cover many of its piano and mellotron parts.

Of the new lineup's three drummers, Pat Mastelotto was the one with the longest history in Crimson. This particularly talented textural, electro-acoustic percussionist first joined Crimson's Double Trio incarnation in 1994, responsible for, amongst other releases, its sole full-length studio outing, THRAK (Panegyric, 1995). Mastelotto remained with the group for all of its subsequent incarnations.

While his instructional book, Rhythmic Illusions (Alfred, 1996), was instrumental in determining how drummer Bill Bruford (with Crimson from 1972-1999) would engage with Mastelotto in Crimson's Double Trio, the staggeringly virtuosic Gavin Harrison (at the time, wrapping up his tenure with Porcupine Tree) only debuted briefly with King Crimson in 2008. Playing alongside Mastelotto, Fripp, guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew and the returning Levin on a short, four-city/eleven-date American tour, Harrison's work with Crimson was first documented on the download-only soundboard release, Park West, Chicago, Illinois August 7, 2008 (DGM Live, 2008), subsequently fleshed out with the two-CD New York, August 14-17, 2008, included in the 24-disc Heaven & Earth: Live and In the Studio 1997-2008 (Panegyric, 2019) box set.

The reinvigorated Crimson's final member, drummer/keyboardist Bill Rieflin, never appeared with Crimson prior to 2014 but brought his expertise to related projects like Slow Motion Project (with, amongst others, Fripp and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck), The Humans (featuring bassist Chris Wong alongside Fripp and the guitarist's wife, established progressive pop singer Toyah Wilcox), and the 1999 collaborative album with Fripp and then-Crimson bassist/Warr guitarist Trey Gunn, The Repercussions of Angelic Behaviour (First World Music, 1999). Rieflin brought a sparer approach to the kit, along with keyboard skills that ranged from at-times faithful parts from the legacy Crimson material to some outrageously irreverent textural contributions.

There have been minor shifts in personnel with King Crimson's current incarnation, largely due to Rieflin and his wife's ongoing health problems that would tragically lead to her passing in August 2019, age 59, with the drummer following her into the ether seven months later, at the same too-young age. Still, despite the current novel coronavirus pandemic shutting down its planned 2020 tour, the current Crimson, with drummer/keyboardist Jeremy Stacey onboard since 2016 (and Rieflin, when he was periodically able to return to the band, becoming King Crimson's first-ever full-time keyboardist), remains committed to resuming live performances in 2021.

Back to 2004, 21CSB may have dissolved but a connection between Jakszyk and Fripp had been established. It was an association that gradually grew into a friendship, leading to the pair engaging in periodic improvised duets that were recorded, despite their casual nature. These sessions combined Fripp's ever-evolving Soundscapes and his acute blend of the oblique and the lyrical, with Jakszyk's impressive talent as a guitarist possessed of a sophisticated melodic sensibility and no shortage of technical acumen. The improvisations were so successful that Jakszyk ultimately took the recordings home, shaping them into a series of songs that led to A Scarcity of Miracles (Panegyric, 2011). With Mel Collins invited to layer definitive soprano saxophone lines over the material, the project was ultimately credited to Jakszyk, Collins & Fripp, though Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison were also invited, subsequently, to overdub bass and drum parts.

Referencing the subset ProjeKcts that emerged from King Crimson's Double Trio lineup (intended as research for a future Crimson) and subsequently collected, in their entirety, in the massive 2019 box set, Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008 (Panegyric), Fripp subtitled A Scarcity of Miracles "a King Crimson ProjeKct," despite the flagship band being on hiatus at the time. Still, if there was a precursor to King Crimson's reformation in 2013, it was A Scarcity of Miracles, which featured five of the seven members who would form the refreshed Crimson lineup.

Despite Jakszyk now finding himself a member of the band for whom he was a self-avowed fanboy in his youth, his own career, from 1976 through 2013, remains plenty impressive. If his relatively small solo discography has been defined by stops, starts and label dissolutions, Secrets & Lies is long overdue and most welcome, even if Jakszyk professes to having not really been thinking about a new solo album. Thoroughly compelling across its nearly fifty minute runtime, Secrets & Lies demonstrates both personal growth since The Bruised Romantic Glee Club, and how seven years in King Crimson has impacted Jakszyk's own work.

Jakszyk explains in a recent online video interview with Matthew Wright, that he was largely "writing material for Crimson, 'cause that's my day job. (...) So a lot of the songs would be things that I'd been working with Robert Fripp on, and I would then create or put them together...or they were compositions that I'd come up with that I'd take to Robert and we do this thing called 'Crimsonizing' it.

"However, a bit of an in-joke developed, where I would take something to play to Robert and Robert would say 'This is marvellous! I love this! It'd be an ideal track for your next solo album.' So it became this in-joke, where I've enough tracks for a new solo album. That's not strictly true," Jakszyk concludes dryly, "but why ruin a good story with the truth?"

From the opening "Before I Met You," with its jagged riff emerging from a cloud of distorted guitars, the propulsive track is clearly informed by the guitarist's time with Crimson. Still, it remains more decidedly from Jakszyk's pen, though it's actually one of two tracks originally co-written and co-performed, from a distance, on a recording by two Italian musicians, Nicola Lori and Stefano Panunzi. Here, however, Jakszyk has completely rerecorded and rearranged the two songs, also including "It Would All Make Sense," which comes later in the set list.

The lyrics for "Before I Met You" are based on Jakszyk's memories of a novel by Julian Barnes, Before She Met Me (Jonathan Cape, 1982), which explores the perils of a middle-aged man who finds himself in a relationship with a younger former actress. He begins to view love scenes in her on-screen roles as acts of "virtual adultery," leading him down a rabbit hole of jealousy and obsession.

Driven hard by Level 42 bassist Mark King, making a one-time appearance alongside Gavin Harrison, who plays drums or percussion on seven of Secrets & Lies' eleven pieces, the track's angularity befits the lyrics, made all the richer for the layers of overdriven guitars that underscore its chorus. Jakszyk contributes some serious shredding throughout the tune, along with silkily sustaining lines, somewhat redolent of Fripp' signature tone.

Still, even when Jakszyk moves into rapid-fire legato phrasing, there's a certain undeniable lyricism that periodically emerges to provide tension and release, with the occasional dissonant harmonies and jagged chords peppered in for even greater effect. And a bridge section two-thirds through the sound, while still driven by King and Harrison, is more intrinsically melodic and acts as a relief from the anger that largely defines the song, as the protagonist tells his young lover:

"This is where you came before
This is who you used to be
Long before I had met you.

You were young and fancy free
With a boy you barely knew
Long before I had met you."

But it's only a brief respite before the jagged riff returns and the middle-aged lover returns to a more accusatory tone:

"What the hell was his name? Just tell me his name
What the hell was his name?"

Filled with layered vocals, keyboards and guitars from Jakszyk, "Before I Met You" also features trumpeter John Thirkell, though his horn is so processed as to be largely unrecognizable.

"The Trouble With Angels" follows, moving into melancholic, balladic territory. Partly based, lyrically, on Wim Wenders' 1987 romantic fantasy film Wings of Desire, it also features Jakszyk's reflection on a real life event that he describes, in the album liners, as "a heartbreaking tale of tragic proportions." Jakszyk's period insertion of beautifully constructed guitar melodies act as counterpoint to Tony Levin's gorgeous fretless bass solo and overall accompaniment, with Harrison's gentle rhythms giving the song a delicate sense of forward motion. It's amongst Secrets & Lies most flat-out beautiful tracks, with Jakszyk's daughter, Amber, adding near-angelic background harmony vocals.

Jakszyk's daughter also appears on the album's penultimate "Trading Borders," which acts as a coda for "The Borders We Traded," one of Secrets & Lies' most unique tracks.

Barring Harrison's occasional percussion, "The Borders We Traded" is built from of Jakszyk's a cappella vocals, wonderfully layered in multiple parts. Originally intended to be part of a "one man" show commissioned by the Edinburgh festival and based, as Jakszyk writes, "on a piece I did for BBC Radio 3 some years back called 'The Road to Ballina,'" "The Borders We Traded" describes "the two places where my birth mother ended up [Jakszyk was ultimately adopted] and, arguably where our story began: a small town in Arkansas and the site on which a US airbase stood in rural Hertfordshire."

Between its choral underpinning and Jakszyk's harmonized melody for the lyrics, it's a particularly vivid example of Jakszyk's evolution as a writer and musical conceptualist.

As is "Secrets, Lies & Broken Memories." Very loosely based on some of the changes from Dizrhythmia Too's "Secrets and Lies," it's an instrumental feature for the guitarist. Jakszyk layers lyrical, overdriven and very occasionally light-speed guitar lines over Nigel Hopkins' orchestral arrangement of Jakszyk's writing, with his "Mockestra" giving, as Jakszyk describes, "the impression of an orchestral feel, but [recreated] (...) in an infinitely more convincing manner."

"Trading Borders," on the other hand, is a piano miniature written and largely performed by Amber Jakszyk, with her father adding keyboard washes, hauntingly delicate guitar lines and a low whistle that gives it the hint of a Celtic feel. As Jakszyk recounts in his liners:

"On a half term trip to London, my 15 year-old daughter and her Dad find themselves on the concourse of a busy Euston Station. As is the fashion all over the world these days, there is an upright piano, available for anyone to play should they fancy it. "My daughter sits down at this out of tune battered upright and begins to play. What I assume is some melancholic Irish ballad that she's learnt somewhere, [it] turns out to be her own composition. I get my iPhone out and record it. "It sticks in my head, and feels like a companion piece to "The Borders We Traded," from mother to son, from father to daughter."

With Jakszyk inserting his iPhone recording at the end of "Trading Borders," it brings "Trading Borders" full circle, with his daughter ending the song alone, as it began.

One of two tracks co-written with Robert Fripp, "Under Lock & Key" explores the what ifs and what might have beens of a chance meeting, and how it can change a person's entire path. The song also explores what might have happened, had that meeting not taken place. No doubt referencing how the Jakszyks became friends and, ultimately, musical partners with Fripp and King Crimson, it's another gentle ballad that brings together four of Crimson's current members, including Harrison and Levin in addition to Fripp, who adds some lush Frippertronics to the intro and outro. It's another song on Secrets & Lies that demonstrates Jaskzyk's unerring penchant for dark-hued lyricism.

That does not mean, however, that Secrets & Lies is all melancholy, indigo melodism and elegant beauty. "Fools Mandate," no doubt a reference to the Van der Graaf Generator singer, pianist and guitarist's first solo album, Fools Mate (Charisma, 1971), is the first of two tracks to feature Peter Hammill as guest vocalist, and his lone compositional co-credit on Secrets & Lies. Barring Hammill's vocal features throughout the song and some additional guitar work towards its conclusion, everything else is performed by Jakszyk: guitars, keyboards, programming and vocals.

Jakszyk describes the song's genesis in his liners: "For a number of years, whenever I bumped into Peter Hammill (something of a hero of mine), he would ask me: 'Have you started a new solo album yet?' I would shamefully say no, and he would say I was mad and that now, more than ever, I should seize the opportunity and go for it. On about the fourth or fifth time of saying this I said to him: 'Only if you agree to appear on it.' He smiled and said: 'Of course.'" Jakszyk continues: "I didn't want to just have him appear as a 'token' guest. I wanted to collaborate. So to this end I sent him an instrumental piece I'd been working on, based on some Middle Eastern music I'd been listening to. Peter sent back vocals, multi-tracked, and some guitars too, with a lyric not particularly related to anything, but that could consequently fit in different ways. I had been reading about the troubles in the Middle East, trying to find where it all really started. It was a subject that former Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield had alluded to in his new lyric for '21st Century Schizoid Man,' back in 2014. As often appears the case, the British and their colonial meddling seem to be at the heart of it. So I combined this with Peter's lyric about one man's deception and lies."

The juxtaposition of Jaksyzk's distinctive voice and Hammill's unmistakably dramatic approach to singing render "Fools Mandate" an album highlight, an episodic track that goes through a remarkable number of shifts despite being only a little over four minutes in length. In fact, with only one track on Secrets & Lies crossing the six-minute mark, most in the four-to-five-minute range and three only approaching or barely crossing the three-minute mark, Secrets & Lies manages to somehow feel much longer than its vinyl-capable 49-minute length might suggest...and in the very best way possible.

"It Would All Make Sense," the second re-arrangement and re-recording of a song co-written with Lori and Panunzi, provides the singer/guitarist the opportunity to address an occurrence now twenty years past, with the hindsight that now allows him to accept a truth he could not at the time. A mid-tempo rocker, it also features a Jakszyk solo that, propelled by Harrison and bassist John Giblin (Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, John Martyn, Phil Collins) may reference his time spent with Fripp but, at the same time, sounds like nobody but Jakszyk, its sinewy, sustaining lines beautifully interweaving and intertwining.

Elsewhere, Jaszyk pays tribute to the Canterbury scene and, in particular, one of its most seminal bands, Hatfield and the North. "The Rotters Club is Closing Down" refers to the short-lived but ultimately vastly influential band's second album, The Rotters Club (Virgin, 1975). A soft ballad, the song is beautifully underscored by bassist Django Jakszyk, Jakko's teenage son, and drummer Al Murray, a lesser-known name in North America but renowned in the UK for his work as a comedian, actor, musician and writer.

Jakszyk's lyrics approach Hatfield's ability to imbue its songs with a self-effacing sense of humour, even as it created music filled with extraordinary musicianship—complex but, at the same time, somehow never sounding self-indulgent, pompous or excessive. His repeated closing phrase, "Tadpoles keep screaming in my ears," directly references the first line on The Rotters Club's opening track, "Share It." Jakzyk also manages, in just two lines, to capture the spirit of a group whose oftentimes knotty, challenging music was given song titles like "Going Up to People and Tinkling," "Lobster in Cleavage Probe" and "John Wayne Socks Psychology in the Jaw":

"So now who'll take the jokes too far
Who'll search in vain for that missing bar?"

Subtitled "A Song for Pip," the song is dedicated to Hatfield and National Health drummer Pip Pyle, who passed away in 2006 at the too-young age of just 56. Jakszyk refers to Pyle's funeral, some of which can be found on YouTube, reflecting that "He died as he had lived, burning the candle, and anyone else's candle that he could get hold of, at both ends. His funeral remains one of the most extraordinary events I've ever been to. Full of warmth and laughter and an overwhelming, palpable feeling of love emanating from his many children."

Along with some lovely, clean and warm-toned guitar work, "The Rotters Club is Closing Down" also features a middle section where Jakszyk emulates Hatfield bassist Richard Sinclair's distinct vocalizations, most notably heard together with former Soft Machine drummer/vocalist Robert Wyatt, on guitarist Phil Miller's "Calyx," from the band's eponymous 1974 Virgin Records debut. All told, a heartfelt, melancholy reflection on a group that remains significant, more than four decades after its breakup.

"Uncertain Times," co-written with Harrison and, in addition to the drummer, also featuring Django Jakszyk and John Thirkell, sounds Crimson-esque in the augmented riff that drives its verses. Secrets & Lies most topical track, its lyrics address modern-day issues like Brexit, populism, and the chasm that seems to divide so many people at a time when unity would accomplish so much. As gloriously layered vocals lead to a brief closing solo of harmonized, overdriven guitars, the pattern of three bars of 3/4 followed by a single bar in 4/4 leads to a closing section in 5/8, even as Jakszyk contributes a mid-section solo that juxtaposes overdriven, Allan Holdsworthian legato lines with a clean-toned, labyrinthian phrase that briefly becomes part of the song as Jakko's vocals return. It sounds very much like one of the songs that Jakszyk might have brought to Fripp as a potential Crimson tune, only to get that in-joke of a reply, "This is marvellous! I love this! It'd be an ideal track for your next solo album."

And so it is.

If Secrets & Lies possesses its fair share of Crimson-informed material, whether full songs or fragments, Jakszyk's closing compositional collaboration with Fripp, "Separation," feels especially rife for "Crimsonizing." Beyond the harmonic structure of this largely thundering but occasionally propulsive but subtler tune, Jaksyzk's recruitment of Harrison, Fripp, Levin and Mel Collins means that five-sevenths of the current Crimson appears, and it would be easy to imagine how two additional drummers could create the mini-percussion section that so defines the group.

A song about narcissism, its genesis is demonstrative of how Jakszyk sometimes works with the Crimson co-founder. As he writes in his liners: "Between the making of A Scarcity Of Miracles and the formation of the current line up of King Crimson, Robert Fripp would come by my studio to show, play and teach me various new ideas, lines and compositions. I made sure that all these were recorded to a click. "I went through all the parts and started editing and creating a new song and arrangement," Jakszyk continues. "Adding sections, playing some of Robert's parts that were in a different tempo, I also spun in some of Robert's soloing and sent my finished piece to both Gavin and Tony. Mel came 'round to add saxophones and I asked Peter Hammill to contribute some backing vocals."

What's most remarkable about "Separation" is how cohesive it sounds, despite its piecemeal creation. Fripp's unmistakable sustaining lines contrast with knottily ascending then descending phrases, staggered vocal harmonies and shifting meters that are often bolstered by Collins' doubled baritone saxophone, even as he contributes some slightly buried tenor solo work as the song approaches its definitive conclusion. It's difficult to know why this song doesn't merit inclusion in the Crimson repertoire, but thankfully it's here on Secrets & Lies, as Jakszyk closes the album with its most oblique, angular and aggressive track.

An eclectic, unfettered collection of songs which, perhaps more than any that have come before, reflect Jakszyk's broadest musical dispositions and subject matter, Secrets & Lies works because Jakszyk has sequenced this diverse material in a way that ultimately forms a cogent narrative. Filled with tremendous playing by Jaksyzk, his Crimson mates and other musical friends old and new, Secrets & Lies may have taken fourteen years to germinate after the wonderful Bruised Romantic Glee Club and accompanying Waves Sweep the Sand, but it's been worth the wait because it stands on its own as a remarkably successful collection of material. It also shines a particularly powerful spotlight on Jakszyk's evolution as performer, songwriter and conceptual thinker.

Filling what has now become a lengthy gap between releases from the current King Crimson, Secrets & Lies will no doubt appeal to fans of the band who are looking for something that fits, to some extent, within that band's overall purview while, at the same time, providing alternative musical perspectives. Even more, as a fine addition to Jakszyk's small but significant leader discography, the thoroughly authoritative Secrets & Lies will be of interest to any who appreciate a heterogenous approach to songwriting and interpretation that, when ultimately brought together, becomes a more homogenous whole.

Track Listing

Before I Met You; The Trouble With Angels; Fools Mandate; The Rotters Club is Closing Down (a song for Pip); Uncertain Times; It Would All Make Sense; Secrets, Lies & Broken Memories; Under Lock & Key; The Borders We Traded; Trading Borders; Separation.


Additional Instrumentation

Jakko M Jakszyk: guitars (1-8, 10-11), keyboards (1-6, 8, 10-11), vocals (1-6, 8-9, 11), programming (3), low whistles (10); John Thirkell: trumpet (1, 5); Mark King: bass (1); Gavin Harrison: drums (1-2, 5-6, 8, 11), percussion (9); Tony Levin: bass (2, 8, 11); Amber Jakszyk: backing vocals (2), piano (10); Peter Hammill: vocals (3), guitar (3), backing vocals (11); Django Jakszyk: bass (4-5); Al Murray: drums (4); John Giblin: bass (6); Nigel Hopkins: orchestral arrangements and Mockestra (7); Robert Fripp: guitar (8, 11), Frippertronics (8); Mel Collins: saxophones (11).

Album information

Title: Secrets & Lies | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Inside Out Music


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