Sunday, January 28, 2007

11 & 12

Went to Border's in Westlake last night and picked up the following discs:

11. King Crimson -- The Collectable King Crimson: Volume One
12. Bill Bruford's Earthworks -- Random Acts of Happiness

The Crimson set contains two killer concerts from the 1974 lineup of Cross/Fripp/Wetton/Bruford. To me, this version of Crim could do no wrong, able to downshift on a dime from brutal to delicate. I already have many live versions of all of the songs featured on these two discs, yet I never tire of hearing more. There are always subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) variations that stroke my organ of Corti, such as the distorted electric-piano chords at the ten-minute mark of Starless from the Mainz performance--plaintive stabs that echo grainily like the sinister dub of Pole. To hear snippets from the Asbury Park concert, please visit this page.

The Bruford disc documents live performances from the 2003 lineup of Earthworks, an acoustic jazz quartet of saxophone/flute, piano, bass, and drums. Inventive and energetic, this music makes me want to dance around like an idiot (those who have witnessed my Chaplin-as-performance-art gyrations know what I mean). The disc also features whimsical artwork from Dave McKean, the director of the awesome fantasy-film Mirrormask (which itself features a playfully jazzy soundtrack by Earthworks alumnus Iain Ballamy). To hear snippets from Earthworks and other Bruford projects, please visit here.

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