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Thread: AAJ Review: King Crimson, Heaven & Earth: Live and In the Studio 1997-2008

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by g.bremer View Post
    John, I really enjoyed your review. The contributions by Pat are fascinating: it's so interesting getting insider views about the music.

    My box just came in yesterday, it looks like I'll be overdosing on KC for a while. I'm listening to "Live ConstruKction 1" right now, it's really great so far
    Glad you dug the review; thanks for taking the time to read it...

    ...but I know you'll dig the box even more, and IMO, Sid has really outdone himself with his liners (one reason I quoted him more than usual. When he's explained something with such clarity and eloquence in some particular cases, it just felt wrong to try and cover the same stuff myself!).

    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post

    I don't recall there being any physical P1 CD that was derived from a single date. Even if there was, it's now been mooted for me because I have the BluRay!

    So far all I've had a chance to hear from the box were a P6, P1, and P3 show.
    Oh damn, thanks for tweaking my addled brain to make that correction...was planning to do it after someone else pointed out the error earlier today but, we'll, I got sidetracked and then just plum forgot. Double d'oh. Now corrected.

    Again, thanks to everyone who has been both kind enough to identify things that need adjustments...and for being just plain kind about it. There are some people who (not this time, and not anywhere, which is really nice) who somehow expect absolute 100% perfection...and it's not as if I don't aim for that (and I spent even more time than usual on this one), but with such a big piece, what I really needed was an editor, and AAJ's editing is, while appreciated, not too deep and rarely includes any kind of fact checking. I strive to deliver content that's as close to perfect as possible, but I am, it appears (!) human and a simple truth about writing is: everyone needs an editor.

    So thanks, folks, for all your help. As a result, the piece gradually inches towards perfection. I've not made any major changes (for those of you who, flattering as it truly is, actually print my articles and include them in the box sets...for me, I can't think of higher praise, if you printed the article before, say, Monday morning, you might want to print again as there's been some additional material provided by Pat as well as a Facebook friend. For those interested, and who don't do Facebook here are the two posts so you don't have to look for the changes:

    Folks, thanks to additional contributions from Pat Mastelotto, I've expanded the story of how he and Trey Gunn sourced Machine [Gene Freeman] to engineer/produce The Power to Believe. It now reads:
    Smith describes the germination of The Power to Believe: "Mindful of the differences in opinion regarding the recording of TCoL, when it came to making King Crimson's 13th studio album Fripp and Belew asked Gunn and Mastelotto to come up with a shortlist of studios. The Tracking Room in Nashville was Gunn and Mastelotto's favourite from the four or five they presented. 'We never thought for a second that Robert and Adrian would go for it. It's mondo, dude. There is a stone room, a wood room, it's just the most over-the-top place I've ever seen. The budget was maybe $3000 a day for this place. There's no fucking way they'd ever pick this place,' laughs Mastelotto, 'but that's what Robert did!'

    Mastelotto fleshes out the story of sourcing an engineer/producer, in his exchange for this review: "When Robert and Adrian told me to find the engineer[/producer], I immediately thought of, tracked down and called Tchad Blake. I love everything he does, and he was the second engineer on Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" [the hit song from Mastelotto's mid-to-late '80s breakout band]. I used to hang with him after the sessions, so I knew he was a great guy. I called him and had a long conversation, but essentially he was not available; he was just about to have a baby and had other projects lined up.

    "My next choice was trying to track down David Fridmann, the guy who had produced The Soft Bulletin (1999) and Yoshima Battles the Pink Robots (2002), amongst other Flaming Lips albums," Mastelotto continues. "While trying to find a contact number for him there was a guy working at DGM named Adrian Maloy, and he suggested that I check out this kid Machine, who had just produced Pitchshifter [the British Industrial band's 1998 album,

    "I did and I liked it, so I checked some of his other work, and the one that really hit me was Broke (2000), by [American punk/rock band] Hed PE. That record showed me he really understood how to mix acoustic and electronic drums and balance the weight and sensitivity of each. I'd never met him and he lived in Jersey, so I suggested to Trey that he call him up, since Trey was living in New York and could meet him. I was a little bit afraid he would show up with a kind of 'Yo Yo Yo, motherfucker's in the house' kind of a vibe, which would definitely not go down well with Robert!"

    Smith continues, in his liners: "Just as important was the decision to ask the rhythm buddies to source a producer to work with the band. After some sifting and tentative selections, the name they eventually tendered to the guitarists was Gene Freeman, better known as Machine. Having initially met up with Trey Gunn in a New York pizza house to discuss the prospect of working with Crimson, Machine was keen to take up the role being offered to him.
    Just wanted, at least, to let those following me here to see the difference. Thanks, P@!!!
    Thanks to Valerio Bilotti, I've now adjusted another section of the piece, where Bill Bruford's initially less-than-positive response to the ProjeKcts Box's disc culled from ProjeKct One's four-night run in London has since changed. The relevant section now reads:
    Still, until all four nights were made available as downloads from DGM Live years later, there was an air of tension around the 1999 single-disc ProjKect One release included in The ProjeKcts Box, Live at the Jazz Café. Bruford was recruited as a consultant, but his consternation continued, to some extent surprisingly: "I hated it so much...and the little of it that seemed achievable was the bit that I tried to put on the record because the other stuff just seemed so excruciating to my ears."

    That said, in recent years Bruford's view of ProjeKct One has changed considerably. From Gianluca Livi's 2015 interview for the Italian Artists and Bands website, and with thanks to Valerio Bilotti for forwarding this information (and translation), Bruford says: ..."the one I played in at the Jazz Café in London ... seems to me to have a frightening amount of energy and power. I heard the CD again the other day and it nearly blew my socks off. Fabulous! Further proof that emotions play a great role in judging music, even our own..."

    The resulting experience for Bruford may have been far less than pleasurable at the time, but Smith's assessment in his liners presents, perhaps, a more conciliatory view of those four nights of music that coincides with and expands upon Bruford's more recent perspective. Bruford's response, at the time, is ultimately understandable, given that Bruford was already disenchanted with Crimson and on the cusp of leaving for the final time.

    "Regardless of Bruford's misgivings," Smith writes, "the residency at the Jazz Café felt fresh and different yet paradoxically recognisable and familiar, a partial kind of missing link between 1974 and 1994. Despite a fan blatantly ignoring the 'No Photography' signs posted around the venue and in doing so bringing to an abrupt end Robert's first KC-related stage announcement in over 13 years, nothing could take away from the fact that it had been an amazing week of momentous improvisations with the fourth and final evening being particularly strong. After it was all done, with the crew packing up, Bill Bruford chatted to straggling fans, signed a few autographs and eventually picked up his cases, walked out into the night to his car and said goodbye for the final time to his life as an active member of King Crimson."
    Valerio, I only used a chunk of the text provided, and did a slight bit of altering of the translation, just to make it a little better (while, at the same time, hopefully retaining the intent of both Bill and Gianluca). Thanks, again, for bringing this to my attention - anything I can do to improve the piece is worth the extra effort!!
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer


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