King Crimson - Live In Vienna

With surgical presision Robert Fripp re-incarnated King Crimson for the umpteenth  time. Their latest release is "Live in Vienna" as part of their European Tour 2016. The bunch of musicians leads us through the musical back catalogue of King Crimson dating back from their first album in 1969. No less than three (!) drummers are on stage Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey (the latter does some keyboards aswell). The orchestra further comprises of Jakko Jakszyk (guitar, flute, vocals), Mel Collins (saxophone and flute), Tony Levin (bass and chapman stick) and the man himself Robert Fripp on guitar, keyboards etc.
By listening to the album it is like you have been blown backwards in time, and I mean this in a positive way. It is unbelievable how this 7-some can create the songs from some 50 years ago live on stage and to do it as if they were recorded yesterday. In other words this album is a time capsule. Listen to i.e. Pictures in the City from In the Wake of Poseidon (1969) and spot any difference. But that's not all "The Court" is played but also a song from their Lizard and Island album. Both of which Crimson didn't perform live for decades. Vocalist Jakko Jakszyk does a splendid job if any of the songs  require vocals (although he isn't the replacement for Greg Lake or John Wetton, but the guy has a warm and powerfull voice, well suited to cover the songs his predecessors did).
This a 3cd boxset album with a nice booklet and photo's and all sorts of informartion how it came about. This is the Crimson King saying goodbye to the Adrian Belew era going back in time more then ever done before. Sure there is work from the Belew era such as Indiscipline and VROOOOM. The majority of the songs however are from their era between 1969 and 1974 which makes it not only a feast of recognition but the songs are also played with a skill you only can  expect from the Crimsons. Of course "Heroes" is part of the playlist these days as a homage to Bowie. Fripp played the freaky guitar, at Bowie's/Visconte's request on the original. The album has also some improv sections well expected from Crimson albums all of which are based around the skills of the three drummers. That's an aquired taste in my opinion.
There is one new composition on the album called Meltdown and is written by Fripp/Jakszyk, which goes perfectly well with the other compositions King Crimson are famous for. This is a very enjoyable album with great craftmanship and it is very meticulously performed by the band under the supervision of mr. Fripp.
 
The Crimsons are doing Holland on July, 13 and 14, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
 
Of course I'm attenting,  tickets already in the pocket. 
 
© 2018 Frans Verweij