Crimson Jazz Trio — King Crimson Songbook Volume 2
(Inner Knot INK7727, 2009, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2010-07-01The late Ian Wallace championed the completion of his trio’s second recording but never had the chance to hear the final fruits of his labor. Together with pianist Jody Nardine and bassist Tim Landers, Wallace’s trio benefited from breaking down familiar prog rock classics into a logical and in many ways easier to assimilate jazz format. Again the repertoire is widely dispersed across the English band’s catalog not just focused on the older 70s material. The opening rendition of “The Court of the Crimson King” shows the trio in up-tempo calypso with a terrific outro cadenza from Wallace. The real meat of the disc focuses on the five part Islands suite with three of the passages as new compositions to mesh with versions of “Formentera Lady” and “The Sailor’s Tale.” Perhaps the drummer’s most memorable cadence intro “Press Gang” leads into Jardine’s classy “Zero Dark Thirty” before special guest Mel Collins injects his trademark tenor, creating an all new vibe. The transition into what was previously a favorite Fripp sustained guitar phrase, is now transformed into a piano-driven track with Collins adding just the right counter-melody. The 80s catalog is presented solely in the form of the ballad “Heartbeat,” understated and emotive. Closing out the disc is a terrific performance of “Lament” from Starless and Bible Black that is truly moving. The disc clearly stands as a testament to the great songwriting and arrangement skills of the players.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more