Wednesday, December 2, 2009

King Crimson Live, 1973-74

Originally posted on April 7, 2008

It might have been easy to take the music scene for granted in 1973-74. I think I did. All kinds of groups were touring regularly, the musicianship was solid out there for the most part, groups with edge, power, drive and a sense of risk were more or less popular, and audiences had come to accept the idea that jamming was not unusual for some electric bands.

Bring on King Crimson, who had regrouped more than once but centered around the leader and guitarist extraordinaire Robert Fripp. We are fortunate that the band was captured live in a series of good quality recordings from those days that are available on a CD series called The Great Deceiver. I’m listening to volume two, a two-CD set on DGM Live. There’s Fripp of course, legendary drummer Bill Bruford, John Wetton on bass and vocals, and David Cross on violin and keys.

What’s amazing to me is how freely and heavily they jammed and how the repertoire continually metamorphosed in the live setting. Any fan of Fripp’s should give this one a listen, and anyone who wants to understand the history of jam bands too.

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