Monday, October 03, 2016

King Crimson - Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind (DGMLive, 2016)

Recorded during their 2015 world tour, the most recent incarnation of King Crimson has become an aggressive septet consisting of leader Robert Fripp on guitar and keyboards, Jakko Jakszyk on guitar and vocals, Mel Collins saxophones and flute, Tony Levin on basses, Chapman Stick and backing vocals and the three percussionist lineup of Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin and Pat Mastelotto on drums and electronic percussion. This box set contains recordings from the group's 2015 tours of Japan, Canada and France. It is interesting to hear some of the oldest material in the band’s catalog mixed in with brand new instrumental compositions. While the music on this set was all performed live, the audience noise has been removed creating a “virtual” album in three movements. There are also DVD’s or Blu-Ray’s with video and high definition audio included in the package. Disc one is focused on instrumental material, bookended with the first two versions of “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic” which demonstrate both the subtlety and power of the band. “Meltdown” is a muscular song and a vocal feature for Jakszyk. Disc two looks at some earlier material from the band’s tenure with relative obscurities like “Pictures of a City” and “Sailor’s Tale” paired off against a mighty version of “Easy Money” and the newer “Suitable Grounds for the Blues.” Disc three powers through some of the band’s most famous repertoire with excellent versions of “Red,” “One More Red Nightmare” and “Starless” from their epochal 1974 album Red. Excellent versions of two of the band’s earliest and most famous songs ″The Court of The Crimson King″ and ″21st Century Schizoid Man″ round out the album with a ferocity of instrumental prowess and excellent singing from Jakszyk who has really grown into the vocal role. This is a very successful and exciting package, with material old and new played with great gusto. The music is intricate and focused, proving that this is far from a victory lap, but a fantastic band nearing the height of their powers, standing toe to toe with any other incarnation of the group's storied history. Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind -

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