Live at Summit Studios, 1972 - Reviews
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 6-Mar-00
By: Eric Kearns (ekearns at lvcm dot com)
"I have to write now... I'm only about 5 minutes into the first track but, I know the rest will live up to my words, because this is one superb release! Pictures of a City is oh so nice. Boz is into it... his bass is into it. Ian Wallace is kickin good stuff into it too. Cadence and Cascade is already one of the best versions I've heard. Just like Ian Wallace says in the liner notes... John Coltrane is all over this piece. Great meat. A Sailors Tale is freakin amazing! I am seriously turned on by this release I can't wait for the next release!!!!!"
Date Submitted: 11-Mar-00
By: Dan Shapiro (Clearlight888 at yahoo dot com)
"Another release by the Fripp/Wallace/Burrel/Collins Crimson didn't really excite me when I saw the announcement from the collector's club; I've never liked Earthbound and was underwhelmed by the Live in Jacksonville 72, mostly because the distorted sound made impossible for me to really hear the music. This release forced to me to put aside a number of preconceptions about this version of KC; Excellent sound and the band in a jamming mood shine paint this group in a much warmer and better light than I've ever imagined in the past. Ian Wallace's drumming is outstanding throughout and Mel Collins remains one of my favorite english saxophonists-his playing at times reaching the same heights he achieved on Camel's "A Live Record"-wonderful. Boz Burrell, although tenative at times on Bass and Vocals is also quite good. The playing is often loose and hot and shows the group mixing R & B, Funk and Blues into Fripp's conception. Fripp responds by playing some of the most stripped down and raw guitar of his career.
"The real surprise for me on this disc is Ian Wallace, both for his witty liner notes and inventive drumming that alternately swings, grooves then nails into the pocket. He is able to breath invention into the modal jams, especially "Groon" and "Sailor's Tale" which have never sounded better.
"When listening to this you can hear that Fripp is aiming for something and hasn't quite found the proper ingredients; Seven months later, the next incarnation made it's debut at the Beat Club and possessed the white magic that eluded this group. Despite that this CD is great, far better than I ever expected it to be."
Date Submitted: 29-Mar-00
By: Eric Joseph White (ejw3+ at pitt dot edu)
"Just a note of appreciation for this long awaited and much appreciated gem. In contrast to Jacksonville, itself an improvement on Earthbound, we have here a well recorded and truly representative live show from this band. No feedback, limited horrible scat from Boz and a great set that visits previous Crimson numbers with agility and grace. All this and some really cohesive jamming as well. Great liner notes from Ian Wallace, a Crimson member heretofore lost in the shuffle. Truly a great installment in the series of collectors classics. Thank you Fripp!"
Date Submitted: 12-Apr-00
By: Patrick Hamtiaux (patrickhamtiaux at federalbridge dot ca)
"At last!!! This release appropriately demonstrates the quality of this line-up, and how wrongly underated it was. This collection of individuals was really able to bring down the house, whether playing structured songs or improvising. The talents of Ian Wallace and Boz Burrell are evident, and easily heard... compared to other releases that did not do this line-up justice nor favours. As for the multi-instrumentist of many talents Mel Collins, his contributions are just incredible. What a shame that KC was not the proper vehicle to hear the whole range of his potent solos, and his virtuosity.
"Interestingly enough, it sounds (to my ears) as if Robert Fripp is the one trying to find his place in the line-up during this concert.
"This release does complete the progression from worse to great - in terms of sound quality - which started with Earthbound and continued with Jacksonville. Even though I have never seen King Crimson in concert, this release and others from the Club compensate very adequately. Thank you to all who contributed - they know who they are better than I do."
Date Submitted: 13-Apr-00
By: Dan Lenehan (LenehanD at Beltone dot com)
"The best of the series! The clarity of the mix alone merits such a distinction.
"No, this wasn't the Cross/Fripp/Wetton/Bruford group, whose improvisations built from the ground up, never leaning on mere blues vamping. On the other hand, Bob, Boz, Mel and Ian - with their wildly different musicalities - here seem to rise to the challenge of playing together. It's a forceful sound, even on the established, written tunes. The opening track is the best, most persuasive version of "Pictures of a City(A Man, a City)" yet released.
"Boz' voice is a revelation, and sparks a perverse interest in Paul Rogers' singular role in Bad Company. That is, WHO would prefer the latter singer to the one on Summit's "21st Century Schizoid Man"? With this recording, Boz emerges as a candidate for KC's "best" lead voice. Quite an amazing instrument.
"Also interesting is Ian's performance, particularly in contrast to the one on the earlier, Jacksonville CCCD. This is a case of night and day. Summit finds Wallace in fine form, playing with nuance and attention. Not a scrap of slop that isn't recycled into pointed extrapolation. His liner notes are poignant in their modest defense of the identity of this Crimson, separate and distinct from any other in the history of the name. They are also informative, full of behind-the-scenes illustrations of tension that may or may not have fueled the more furious sections on this disc.
"Mel Collins, here, justifies his role as centerpiece many times over. His soloing on "Groon" is inspired and his conversations with Fripp on "Pictures of a City" reveal a quick and intuitive improvisatory identity. One can hear his ear at work, directing the flow of "The Creator'" and almost any other extended, unscripted passage on this disc. Mel is worth the price of admission.
"Fripp, as is so often asserted, comes into his own as a soloist at this stage in Crimson's history. His soloing is as sinister as self-assured, and his harmonic role showcases his continuing growth as the band leader. His straightfaced blues playing on "The Creator'" is a jaw-dropper. A stunning example of the mountain coming to Allah. And darned convincing.
"There are very few performance "accidents" that don't serve the music in some way. Though it's been awhile since my last listen, it seems that "Earthbound" would have to pales in any comparison to this spectacular recording. Four pick-strokes up."
Date Submitted: 6-May-00
By: (ChalkPie88 at aol dot com)
"Wow!!!!! I cannot believe this particular incarnation receives such negative reviews, even from Crimheads (or people claiming to be). This album just simply rocks - great playing, great tunes, great sound!!!! This is the closest to "jazz" that I believe I have ever heard Crimson delve in to, and it is magnificent. Fripps playing is unreal as usual, Mel Collins sounds like a cross between Brecker and Johnny Griffin, Boz CAN play bass (I am a bass player, myself), and Ian is super tasty and groovy on the traps. This release has probably become my favorite out of all of the club releases, just because it is so entirley different from what fans have come to expect from the name "King Crimson". Buy it, it's definitley worth it."
Date Submitted: 10-Jun-00
By: Tino Bodenschatz (T.Bodenschatz at gmx dot de)
"What a nice moment to close your eyes to hear a fantastic live recording. There's a band, playing wonderful songs and improvs between rock and jazz. The sound is perfect. But there's an question comming during the hearing. Why was this lineup broken few month later in the same year? There's so much fun in playing in Denver. Cadence and Cascade, Groon and Sailor's Tale are my personel highlights of this journey in a time I was't born.
"Hey Bob, do you have more of such studio, live or radio recordings. Give it to us."
Date Submitted: 5-Jul-00
By: Tim Long (timrobinlong at peoplepc dot com)
"Arguably the best sounding collecters club realese. And no we all no what I an Wallace does "when not drumming in king crimson". but to me the album sounds almost just like The Jacksonville one. It is to me O.K. I prefer John Wetton KC much more Than Boz."
Date Submitted: 18-Jul-00
By: Michael Adashefski (oingoboingo100 at earthlink dot net)
"For those of you who didn't believe the power of the Islands band, this release will surely change your mind just as it did mine. This gig more than makes up for Earthbound and I'm wondering why it took all this time for this gig to see the light of day.
"There are several reasons why this release stands out. First, as many of us have pointed out, Ian Wallace gives a stellar performance. As an accomplished drummer myself I have always been amazed by all of K.C's drummers but Ian didn't really get the chance to shine as much on Islands. At this gig he almost steals the entire show singlehandedly from the rest of the band. Secondly, this concert also shows that Fripp really did have more of a hand controlling this line-up than we are sometimes led to believe. Just as improvs develop and it seems that Ian, Boz and Mel are taking the band in their own direction, Fripp is the one that reels in that Crimson power and brings things into perspective. After all this was King Crimson and not just another English rock band that relied on typical structures and forms.
"If there is a soft spot in these proceedings it is the bass playing of the inexperienced Boz. While his vocals range from superb (Cadence and Cascade/Pictures of a City) to annoying (Schizoid Man), he wasn't the versatile bassist who could add the added bottom end needed to better orchestrate these pieces. Imagine a John Wetton or Tony Levin playing "Sailor's Tale" and you'll know what I mean here. Boz's efforts were admirable considering how little time he'd been playing these pieces, but a stronger bassist could have made them really soar.
"All in all this is a triumph in Crimson history! A long-awaited solution to Earthbound and a definate Hot Date!
"We're ready for more, Mr. Fripp."
Date Submitted: 14-Sep-00
By: Eric Odijk (eric.odijk at grontmij dot nl)
"Now here's a cd that finally and truly represents this particuler line-up at its best. No overdriven sound soup like Earthbound, but clear and bright sound. This cd should have been released in a regular way, not through the collectors club. What also counts is that they play songs here from all of their four albums to that date. The performance is quite good, plus the recording quality is clear. I can not understand why Epitaph volumes 3 and 4 are available to everyone and this one is not. I know why there is a collectors club, but this cd belongs in the regular catalog. Can somebody please tell me how I can get my hands on it, without paying $$$ for a club membership? As with a few other club releases (the Jamie Muir concert) this one will do quite well as a normal release. So release it! The only way non-members can get to know this line-up is by buying Islands or Earthbound. Now is that fair to this line-up? No!"
Date Submitted: 23-Oct-00
By: Joshua Chase (baybeehughie at yahoo dot com)
"I heard a bootleg tape of this broadcast many years ago and had always wanted a pristine recording of it, so I sprung for the Pony Canyon 3-box that also included "The Roar of P4" and "VROOOM sessions"... so what's a mere $90. when extended Mel Collins blowing is at stake?
"I like this a lot because there isn't much goofy English prat-rock singing... and besides I've always felt Boz was the most engaging Crim singer anyway, IMHO. Sometimes I feel like him the best because he's clearly challenged by the material... "Cadence and Cascade" sounds sung by a man who probably had considered kicking Peter Sinfield's ass once or twice, and the tension generated by a bluesy-rock singer singing about sad paper courtesans is interesting. I often wonder if RF ever thought about just cracking Boz over the noggin with the ol' Les Paul when Boz would commence to, er, "scatting" (that particular term used with utmost apology to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn). But the Leader wouldn't show violence, so probably not.
"Of course Mel C. is the star of the show, taking the jams and the freer sections of the structured tunes into a Coltrane-drenched territory that's always intervalically engaging and often Epiphanic... if you're wondering why RF really stepped up to another level in his solos around this time, it's at least in large part from sharing the stage with a fire-breather as gifted as MC, night after night, city after city. That this band was perhaps the most Funkable of all the Crims owes in equal parts to the pure honkin' soul of the altoist, the fluid grooves of the drummer (Wallace on The One), and the relative inexperience of the bass player, who tended to-- understandably, given the complexity of the music-- fall into slop-mode when things were not kept somewhat more simple. Of course this means no disrespect to Boz, who went on to great success, getting paid milliions of dollars to play the bass anyway in one of the more popular rock bands of the '70s.
"So the sound is magnificent and represents this lot very well... the liner notes by Ian Wallace are hysterically funny... I'm pleased and don't mind paying top dollar for excellent product like this any day of the week. The only question I have relates to the "My Hobby" track which was excised from the "shop release" Pony Canyon version of this CD... I'm just curious what this track is all about having not heard it. Anyone who wants to explain what it is and/or why it was removed is welcome to e-mail me :-)"
Date Submitted: 5-Nov-00
By: Chris Janzen (chris_janzen at hotmail dot com)
"It is fascinating to see the evolution of the song-writing process, especially in cases such as "The Creator has a Master Plan." Sure, it was a great jam, but more importantly: the piece's latter end contained note-for-note snippets of what would later become "Larks Tongues in Aspic Part I." It is the unveiling of gems like this or (from "Beat Club" CC release) "The Rich Tapestry of Life" that make the CC worth taking a part in."
Date Submitted: 23-Apr-01
By: Bill Nicholas (wrnicholas at prodigy dot net)
"This is a fantastic live Crimson album which far exceeds my estimate of what the 1971-72 line up of the band. If you read my reviews of Islands, Earthbound and other albums by this line-up, well, I take it all back. Most of it anyway.
"Crimson here sound like a genuine soul-jazz unit. Boz and Ian Wallice lock together air-tight on Pictures Of A City and Saliors Tale, yet they play fluidly and musically. Mel Collins sears over the top-not only on the above tracks but on Summit Goining On and The Creator Has A Master Plan. Sometimes he sound like Pharroh Sanders, other times like King Curtis, but all the time with heart and conviction.
"This band also develops an organic funkiness on this album that you almost never here on King Crimson records. When Boz sets a pattern and Walllice starts poping those high hats, you get the feeling that as Fripp went to play his Ravel albums, the rhythm section snuck Jimmy MaGriff onto the turntable.
"The results are all great, and often brillant: Crimson have always shied from showing direct connection to funk and blues--two of the essential ingrediants in African-American-based music. This band lets these urban elements sing loud and clear. The results are as sophistacated and engaging as on any KC album, but with an new, soulful, warmth.
"Where the hell was this tape when they were putting out Earthbound?"
Date Submitted: 20-May-00
By: (Stevejen at aol dot com)
"My kids (ages 7 ans10) throughly enjoyed "My Hobby." They made me play it over and over again. Its nice to see kids enjoy a good laugh and develop an appreciation of good music and humor."