Crimson Jazz Trio — King Crimson Songbook Volume One
(Voiceprint VP373CD, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Veteran session drummer Ian Wallace leads a capable international trio with this first volume of King Crimson classics done up for modern piano-based ensemble. The key to the dizzying success of the eight tracks is in the spirit of the arrangements, which are dramatically different from the original pieces. Chords and melody lines are still recognizable but signature pieces such as “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “Red” have been transformed into new incarnations that are a joyful noise. The former piece opens the disc in striking form with pianist Jody Nardone (who has also worked with songwriter Jeff Black) flashing solid chops to push the song forward rhythmically. Perhaps the most fully realized arrangements are served on “Starless” and “Ladies of the Road.” “Starless” retains the restrained moodiness of the original as the trio quietly builds tension. “Ladies of the Road” dates to Wallace’s time in the original group and is purposefully less brash than its predecessor. The Discipline line-up material is also represented by two pieces, “Three of a Perfect Pair” and the sonic ballad “Matte Kudasai.” The former song benefits from band synergy particularly between Wallace and bassist Tim Landers (ex-Vital Information). Overall the key point is that this is a live working act that needs to be seen to confirm the prowess of the players and performance.
Related artist(s): Crimson Jazz Trio
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.