Saturday, July 24, 2021

King Crimson at Old School Square, Delray Beach, FL, July 23, 2021

KC Schawag.

Program, and "tour book," actually two CDs and a 24-page full color pamphlet packed in a DVD-style case. CDs feature 40 rarities and alternate tracks from all phases of the band's career, most of them on disc for the first time.

Evidently, they've been selling yearly versions on tour since 2014.

Show was of course remarkable, jaw-dropping musicianship and a distinct ability to recreate the sound of their studio recordings live.

Jakko Jacszyk (probably sp, right?) impressed me not only with that awesome Court guitar, but also with his ability to creditably sing the songs, whether they had originated with Lake, Wetton or Belew. It was a tiny bit sad during "Epitaph," realizing that three of the four original vocalists are now gone . . . how must Fripp feel?

"Epitaph" was nice to hear, and exquisite, but after they'd concluded with "21st Century Schizoid Man," I realized that they'd played three songs from Court, but none from Lark's.

Two from Red, though, which ruled.

And can't not mention the three drummers. Jeremy Stacey, front and center, doubled on drums and keyboards. Has *anyone* ever done that before in a tour environment?

There was a pre-recorded announcement just prior to the band's taking the stage about the intermission and no photography, but no bandmember said a word into a mike the entire show. I did think some acknowledgement of what the crowd in our open courtyard was going through during the steady rain that accompanied the first third of the show might have, I dunno, engendered some crowd-band camaradarie.

Whenever I go to a show, I'm always afeared that the drive to the venue might suck, or that parking could be a bitch, and Friday night, both fears proved true. But all that shit will drop away, and i will be left with memories of a tremendous, tremendous show.

Set list

Monday, July 19, 2021

Miles Davis - In A Silent Way

So . . . . . the hoped-for reappraisal.

Man, have I been on an electric-period Miles jag for the past two weeks or so, with at least another week--just based on incoming purchases--obviously in store. And yeah, I had to buy Pangaea and finally pick up Get Up With It on disc, and check out Dark Magus, and Panthalassa, but if I was gonna do all that, I think I was kind of required to re-listen to something that hadn't made a heavy impact the first time around.

I first bought In A Silent Way when I was 19 or 20, Bitches Brew in the rearview.

And despite having pretty much liked what it sounded like when Miles Ran the Voodoo Down, In A Silent Way really made zero impression on me. I do remember being somewhat surprised by this at the time, but it wasn't happening and the album sat unplayed. Some of the impressionistic shortfall, I think, was that McLaughlin didn't sound like he did on Birds of Fire, and if that was it, I think I may have been listening under unreasonable expectations. Another key component of the music's failure to excite simply may have been the expectations (or fears) created by titles. The way was "silent" and the time was "peaceful." And oh yeah, "Sssh."

I can definitely remember being skeptical about the concept of ambient back then, and if I was adventurous enough to buy the thing, I wasn't enough detoxed from the punk rock and the Iron Maiden to get past the preconceptions.

Maybe. I dunno, maybe it was something else.

But I'm actually kind of happy right now, because, after having a long while ago given away the vinyl I purchased as a young pimply adult, I'm really digging the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces/BMG Music Club CD I bought on Discogs last week. It's mostly electric piano tone clusters and rhythmic vamping underneath some tasteful and restrained sax and trumpet solos, with some nice electric guitar and double bass snippets interspersed, and nothing wrong with that. It ain't rock and it ain't ambient, so let's call it quality jazz, even if Miles really would fly the coop sometime thereafter.

I have of course in the past been disappointed when I find that my mid-50's self and my snivelling potsmoking younger version agree on something. So here I get to dismiss my younger self's taste, which is nice.

But one thing I'm wondering and if you can clarify please do, it's Wayne Shorter and the way he's credited with tenor sax on the 1999 CD I bought, when there are spaces in the music that certainly sound like soprano. Looking around, I see that Lester Bangs in his contemporary review also had Shorter playing tenor, but that Wikipedia, adapting the credits "from the album's 1969 liner notes" has him on soprano. And here's a serious jazz site that says In A Silent Way was Shorter's debut on soprano.

This isn't usually the kind of thing I'd get hung up about, let me be emphatic, but it *is* the kind of thing serious jazz people make a habit of worrying about. And usually end up straightening out as a result. Regardless of my original opinion on the thing, this is considered to be a classic record, right? Yet it appears there's some question about who played what. Which is kind of weird.

File under: Directions in Music