Posts Tagged ‘King Crimson’

Tonight on Echoes, Connections from 1967 to 2013.

October 9, 2013

60’s Psych-Progressions, 70’s Krautrock, New World Fusion
and Ambient Chamber music Tonight on Echoes.

Donovan-SunshineI must be feeling a bit nostalgic today.  I find myself going back to some of my earliest musical influences and to the early days of Echoes.  From the 1960s, I’ve got a song by Donovan, an artist who I think is an underrated influence on contemporary singer-songwriters.  His Sunshine Superman, is, song-for-song, a beautiful document of 60s tripped out psychedelia and optimism.  We’ll hear a tune from that album that looks to the darkside.  Then it’s up to 1969 and the debut from King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King.  Unlike the contemporary editions of this band, early Krimson could knock out a few ballads, especially when Greg Lake was singing the words of Pete Sinfield.   Moving up a decade, I’ll be dialing up some krautrock by Michael Rother from his second album, Sterntaler, with that beautiful guitar sound, the motoric drumming of Jaki Liebezeit and production from the late-Conny Plank.

FamiliarFrom the early days of Echoes, look for music by Patrick O’Hearn, a musician who has remained a signature artist on the show from day one.   Then there’s an album by Roger Eno & Kate St. John. Roger is Brian’s younger piano playing brother.  St. John played oboe in The Dream Academy.  They made an early album of ambient chamber music called The Familiar before going on to form the chamber rock group, Channel Light Vessel with Bill Nelson.  We’ll hear one of many haunting tracks from The Familiar.

MORCHEEBA-Head-Up-High-300x277But of course, this is Echoes and I have lots of new music for you.  We’ll hear from the new album by Bombay Dub Orchestra, Tales from the Grand Bazaar as they continue to be masters of eastern fusion.  Morcheeba returns with a new album,  Head Up High  featuring singer Skye Edwards,  and I have new music by Pieter Nooten.  You may remember him from Clan of Xymox, an 80s new wave band on 4AD.  He went on to record a much loved album, Sleeps with Fishes with Michael Brook.  Now he returns with a double CD of ambient chamber music, Haven.

It’s all there and more tonight on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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Krimson, Kveikur and Church tonight on Echoes

August 22, 2013

King Crimson DisciplineSigur Ros is touring the US this fall.  Hear some of what they’ll be playing when we hear a track off their latest CD, Kveikur.  We’ll also hear a sublime classic from the Discipline era of King Crimson and there’s a surprising track from Charlotte Church, the former child-prodigy opera star who tunes her pipes into electronica on the CD One & Two.  It’s all tonight, on Echoes.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))
Echoes On Line

WavesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Melorman’s Waves. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

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Interview: Yes Is The Answer editors Marc Weingarten & Tyson Cornell

August 14, 2013

A Pure Hour of Progressive Rock and More tonight on Echoes.

Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell are Progressive Rock fans and they’ve edited a collection of personal essays about the genre called Yes is the Answer and Other Prog Rock Tales. Contributors such as novelist Rick Moody and music critic Jim DeRogatis write about their mixed feelings about Progressive Rock. We’ll talk with Weingarten and Cornell about the mixture of love and embarrassment so many writers feel for the genre.  Hear them talk about it on Echoes tonight in an hour of pure Progressive Rock.

Tyson Cornell's Yes Tattoo.

Tyson Cornell’s Yes Tattoo.

HIGHLIGHTS

Marc Weingarten: It’s sort of like cool people are afraid to admit that they like this highly uncool music.

Tyson Cornell: I listen to Yes every single day.  I have a Yes tattoo on my chest.
Mark Weingarten:  It’s true, folks.

Hear my Prog Playlist on Spotify: Progressive Delites

Read a review of Yestival, featuring Yes, Renaissance, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and Volto!
John Diliberto (((echoes)))
Echoes On Line

WavesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Melorman’s Waves. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio

Why Do People Hate Prog Rock? Yes Is the Answer, Maybe.

July 12, 2013

Hear the Podcast of Echoes with Yes Is The Answer Editors Marc Weingarten & Tyson Cornell.

Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell are Progressive Rock fans and they’ve edited a collection of personal essays about the genre called Yes is the Answer and Other Prog Rock Tales. Contributors such as novelist Rick Moody and music critic Jim DeRogatis write about their mixed feelings about Progressive Rock. We’ll talk with Weingarten and Cornell about the mixture of love and embarrassment so many writers feel for the genre.  Hear them talk about it on the Echoes Podcast.

Tyson Cornell's Yes Tattoo.

Tyson Cornell’s Yes Tattoo.

HIGHLIGHTS

Marc Weingarten: It’s sort of like cool people are afraid to admit that they like this highly uncool music.

Tyson Cornell: I listen to Yes every single day.  I have a Yes tattoo on my chest.
Mark Weingarten:  It’s true, folks.

Hear my Prog Playlist on Spotify: Progressive Delites

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

UNQOTSASign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Olivier Libaux’s Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Echoes On LineNow you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio

Interview: Yes Is The Answer editors Marc Weingarten & Tyson Cornell

July 8, 2013

A Pure Hour of Progressive Rock and More tonight on Echoes.

Marc Weingarten and Tyson Cornell are Progressive Rock fans and they’ve edited a collection of personal essays about the genre called Yes is the Answer and Other Prog Rock Tales. Contributors such as novelist Rick Moody and music critic Jim DeRogatis write about their mixed feelings about Progressive Rock. We’ll talk with Weingarten and Cornell about the mixture of love and embarrassment so many writers feel for the genre.  Hear them talk about it on Echoes tonight in an hour of pure Progressive Rock.

Tyson Cornell's Yes Tattoo.

Tyson Cornell’s Yes Tattoo.

HIGHLIGHTS

Marc Weingarten: It’s sort of like cool people are afraid to admit that they like this highly uncool music.

Tyson Cornell: I listen to Yes every single day.  I have a Yes tattoo on my chest.
Mark Weingarten:  It’s true, folks.

Hear my Prog Playlist on Spotify: Progressive Delites

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

UNQOTSASign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Olivier Libaux’s Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age. Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Echoes On LineNow you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio

Progressive Rock Awards.

September 7, 2012

I didn’t even know they had these and it seems a little late in the game, but Prog Magazine, a journal in the UK with a reported readership of about 25,000, sponsored their first Progressive Music Awards show.  As the first, they understandably acknowledged a lot of the pioneers in the field, granting awards to Genesis, Carl Palmer and Pink Floyd.  Giving Rick Wakeman the “Rock God” award and Peter Hammill the “Visionary” award won’t do much dispel Prog’s reputation for ostentatious grandiosity, although Hammill’s Visionary award is deserved.

More recent acts like Anathema and Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree) were also acknowledged although Wilson’s “Guiding Light” award isn’t really the kind of tribute that rolls easily off the CV.

Rick Wakeman in Full Prog Regalia

With Progressive Rock being effectively shut out of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, somebody had to acknowledge this music.  Only Genesis, Pink Floyd and Traffic have made the cut.   How Yes, ELP, King Crimson have been ignored is one of the mysteries of the Hall of Fame since the beginning.  Goldmine had a fun article on King Crimson’s exclusion a few months ago.

You can read more about the Progressive Music Awards in the BBC News.

~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echoes On LineYou get great CDs like Dead Can Dance’s  Anastasis  by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Follow the link and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.  Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours, or Brian Eno releases a new CD.

UK Kills at NEARfest Apocalypse.

June 25, 2012

The day started and ended with the two highpoints for NEARfest Apocalypse.

NEARfest Apocalypse Mark Wilkenson Poster

Despite a more than 90 minute delay, and about 10 minutes of a dimly lit stage and no music or musicians, UK finally hit the stage a little before 11PM.  They lived up to their reputation as the last great band from the classic Progressive Rock era. I’d seen the trio edition of the band with keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson,  bassist/singer John Wetton and drummer Terry Bozzio eight weeks ago at World Café Live-Wilmington.  I thought that performance was tepid, overlong and a bit overwrought.  Wetton seemed to be pushing his voice.  Bozzio was definitely pushing his drums with lots of clamor but little musical effect.

Eddie Jobson of UK, not at NEARfest

But at NFA, Gary Husband took over the drum chair and Alex Machacek was added on guitar, replicating the original instrumental line-up of the group.  The difference was nothing short of astounding.  Husband is the perfect drummer for UK  driving and propulsive with enough of Bill Bruford’s coloristic approach to create that immersion-in-rhythm effect.  Machecek, an Austrian guitarist of some note, was under-utilized in the band but his sustained leads and bass-doubling gave the group the edge it needed.  Perhaps ironically, Machecek recorded an album with Terry Bozzio as BPM.

John Wetton of UK not at NEARfest

Both Jobson and Wetton responded to the change.  Wetton has never been in better voice.  And he showed it on the suite of “In the Dead Of Night/By the Light of Day” You might have thought it was 1978 when he sang the yearning, almost choirboy lead. When the band exploded into the instrumental section, it was obvious there was a new energy here. The group went through most of the first album and tracks off Danger Money as well as a couple of King Crimson covers tearing through “Starless” in hurricane grandeur.  Machacek played that slowly menacing minimalist line that finally explodes with Jobson nailing a banshee wah-wah violin solo that seared the track.  Wetton’s Krimson past appeared again when he played a plaintive solo rendition of their “Book of Saturday.” Some of UK’s actual songs often sound like failed attempts at pop, but even light-weight tunes like “Danger Money” and “Caesar’s Palace Blues” ignited once they dropped the pop song pretense and ripped into the instrumental sections. Jobson, in particular was a whirlwind playing two keyboards and spinning out mini-fugues and florid solos.  A very underrated keyboard player, he’s dropped the “Theme of Secrets” keyboard suite he’s played at previous shows but he still retains the violin showcase of cheap faux-guitar virtuosity and pointless effects.  But when he bent his slender figure into his violin solos or built driving orchestrations behind the band, he was easily the most impressive musician, and certainly keyboardist, of the festival.

Gösta Berlings Saga
Photo: Mike Montfort

If UK ended the day with bang, the trigger was primed in the morning by Gösta Berlings Saga. They take their name from an epic Swedish novel, but take their music from King Crimson, Univers Zero and fellow countrymen, Änglagård. But unlike many of their contemporaries, including Änglagård and Aranis, they aren’t afraid to hit a groove and work it, and they’ve got a great drummer to do it in Alexander Skepp,  a piston driven rhythm machine. “354” was a typical piece for the set with an intricate, minimalist keyboard cycle from David Lundberg, sliced by Einar Baldursson’s guitar over a groove of doom from Skepp.  The song builds to a ringing, exhausting climax with swirling organ and Jannick Top-style bass from Gabriel Hermansson.   Playing a Fender Telecaster, Baldursson had a different tone than most NF guitarists with an appealing surf-twang in his playing.  While in the mode of other bands, GBS had a varied sound that employed vibraphone cycles and even a metal-flamenco mode on “Gliese 58Lg.”  Änglagård drummer Mattias Olsson, joined them on their last song playing percussion.   Gösta Berlings Saga was definitely the WOW! band of NEARfest Apocalypse.

Einar Baldursson of Gosta-Guitar-Einar
Photo: Mike Montfort

Although most of the band looks like they’re 15 years old, they were in-sync with the NEARfest zeitgeist.  When Skepp introduced one song as being inspired by Dungeons & Dragons’ 20-sided dice, squeals went up from the predominantly male audience.  Opening with a 3 song suite of tunes from their latest CD,  Glueworks Skepp opined, “When you play three songs together you have a Prog Rock epic.”

Il Tempio Delle Clessidre
Photo: Mike Montfort

In between these highlights  were Il Tempio Delle Clessidre, an Italian symphonic prog group.  They were overly histrionic and borderline operatic in that Italian Prog way.

Elisa Montaldo
Photo: Mike Montfort

They struck an interested contrast next to most NF groups.  They wore stage costumes, and Montaldo in particular was striking in a florid black Victorian gown and hair-comb that made her look like a goth widow.

Il Tempio Delle Clessidre
Photo: Mike Montfort

The band was charming in their way, but also corny.  Every NEARfest has a Spinal Tap moment.  The honor this year went to Il Tempio Delle Clessidre.  For one song, inspired by witches, they all donned masks and hooded capes and engaged in pantomime fights. If there’s always a Spinal Tap moment, then there is also an always an element of Frank Zappa at NF.  That was carried by former Zappa sideman, Mike Keneally.

Mike Keneally at NEARfest
Photo: Mike Montfort

He plays a brand of fusion art pop in which the sum is never equal to the parts.  The tunes were often banal and forgettable and the instrumental interplay by the book.  Keneally is a really good guitar player, but lacks distinction in his keyboard work and should not sing.  It’s not a bad voice, it’s just a voice free of personality, which could be said of a lot of his music. There might be a great fusion ensemble in The Mike Keneally Band, but this wasn’t it. It was the old and the new, UK and Gösta Berlings Saga, who made the last day of NEARfest as memorable as any. I’ll have some final NEARfest Apocalypse thoughts shortly. Click on the links for more of Mike Montfort’s photos of Gösta Berlings Saga, The Mike Keneally Band, Il Tempio Delle Clessidre  UK were camera shy. ~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes ))) You get great CDs like Todd Boston’s Touched by the Sun by becoming a member of the Echoes CD of the Month Club.  Follow the link and see what you’ve been missing. Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news.

King Crimson ala Doc Severinsen

March 9, 2010

In the Court of the Tonight Show

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Those of you old enough to remember the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson will recall his trumpet-playing and fashion-challenged band-leader and court jester, Doc Severinsen. Doc became kind of a joke on the show, but, he came from serious jazz background and played with the Clarke/Boland Big Band and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band among others. Doc played every kind of music, but until now, I never knew he had Progressive Rock leanings as well. You can hear it on this song where he does a big band arrangement of King Crimson’s epic, “In the Court of the Crimson King.”

Conventional wisdom might lead you to expect something cheesy, but Severinsen creates a colorful, swinging arrangement and he takes some inventive solos.  And check out the electric-Miles Davis-like bridge in the middle. No actual video, just the music.

UPDATE: For those interested, the song is apparently from an album called Doc Severinen’s Closet and was arranged by Don Sebesky which explains the CTI sound in some sections.

Thanks to Gino Wong for the pointer although his subject line, “the true original verion of itcock” almost made me junk it in the porno spam box.

(itcock = In the Court of the Crimson King duh!)

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Robert Fripp & Toyah Krimsonize Nancy Sinatra

September 19, 2009

Did you ever wonder what King Crimson would sound like fronted by Nancy Sinatra?  Probably not, but Crimson founder, Robert Fripp and his wife, singer Toyah Willcox, collaborate as The Humans and cover Sinatra’s deathless 60s classic, “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.”
Visually, the video’s a bit on the 1980s cheesy MTV side, think Journey. Musically, like a lot of proggers approaching pop, they’ve got a heavy and strident hand and it actually makes me appreciate even more the understated mood and reverb soaked atmosphere Nancy Sinatra and producer/composer Lee Hazelwood established for the original in 1966, which I actually owned on a 45. But Toyah looks and sounds good at 51 (albeit post cosmetic surgery) and that’s more visual personality than I’ve seen Fripp display in about 20 years. Dig the “Starless”-style double-picked screaming guitar solo he lays on it.  This is Fripp having fun, I think.  It’s hard to tell with Robert these days.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

Echo Location: Bill Bruford Redux

March 24, 2009

Bill Bruford brings Plays Taps to Progressive Rock.

((((( You can hear an audio version of this blog, with music )))))

Close to the Edge No one gives the rock drummer much attention, unless he happens to be the signature progressive rock drummer of the last 4 decades. That’s the case with Bill Bruford, who played in three incarnations of King Crimson and had stints in UK, Gong, the Bruford Band and Earthworks. We first heard of Bill when he was a member of Yes, recording on all their albums up through Close to the Edge.

Bill Bruford: The Autobiography As I reported in the Echoes Blog a few weeks ago, Bill Bruford, born in 1949, has retired. He tells his story in a new book, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography. We interviewed Bill a few weeks ago and Echoes listeners got to hear that on the air.  You can hear it on the Echoes Bill Bruford Podcast

Bill Bruford: The Autobiography is a trenchant look at life as a musician that’s light on musical explanations and heavy on trials and tribulations. He has that uniquely British ability to be simultaneously self-deprecating and self-aggrandizing, all while being erudite and charming. He came to renown with Yes, but at the height of their popularity, he left them for the edgier King Crimson

Bill Bruford: I thought they were much hipper. I thought the sound of the group was much filthier, much more grown up, much more X-rated, you know. And I always wanted to be in King Crimson. I also thought Yes was a very light weight group.

There’s not much sex, drugs or rock ‘n’ roll in the Bruford autobiography but there are blistering anecdotes about King Crimson founder Robert Fripp, always tardy Yes-bassist Chris Squire, and getting the boot from his own band, UK. But Bill Bruford spends much of his book talking about the music that always ignited his passion, jazz.

Buhaina\'s Delight BB: Where I got the magic of drumming from was Art Blakey. Just watching guys like that on television who had such command and authority from a drum set. The drummer was in control from the back by some mysterious series of commands that I did not really understand as a 13-year-old. I still do not understand it.  [laughs sardonically] I do now. Now I understand.

Bill Bruford’s cerebral jazz band, Earthworks, has been his true passion for the last 20 years and he has no nostalgia at all for the heyday of progressive rock.

Bill Bruford: Progressive rock was a genuinely interesting phase of popular music. I don’t think it lasted forever. I think it had a great time from about ’68 to 1975. After that I did not think there was much to it and it was time to move on. I am very unsentimental.

Bill Bruford has moved on and out. He’s just released two anthologies of his solo work,Winterfold Collection 1978-1986 and the Summerfold Collection 1987-2008. His book is, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography, published by Jawbone Press. This has been an Echo Location, soundings for new music.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))


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