King Crimson — Level Five
(Discipline DGM0518, 2001/2008, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01Initially a limited edition live CD, Level Five joins the set of other interim releases prior to The Power to Believe. The process for airing new King Crimson material again is to rehearse a piece for live performance then take the track into the studio to capture a “best essence” of the piece. Songs that fit this process are “Dangerous Curves” and “Virtuous Circle,” which show a heavier and predictable direction for the four-piece line-up since the last studio outing, The ConstruKction of Light. The pulsing rhythms of the former track create a dire scenario along with the tension-building title track and the battered-fly-like guitar solo from Adrian Belew that ends the song. Fripp’s crystalline bells play against Trey Gunn’s ominous bass line to huge consequences. “The Construktion of Light” benefits from a friendlier groove and clearer separation between Fripp and Belew’s cascading guitar lines than the live recording from the 2000 European tour. In contrast, another live version of “The Deception of the Thrush” that shows how the piece is still morphing from the sterile studio version. Mastelotto seems to really be finding his rhythmic niche, as much of his time-keeping anchors, as well as propels the ensemble. It’s curious to note what response the modern hard rock crowd has had when seeing this veteran metal group live. Where live refinement is the standard mode of operation, Crimson clearly prevails.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more