Happy New Year! I had this idea to put together a year-end-of-decade something, but really the decade we just finished was the worst of the six I’ve been alive in so far. Okay, the ’80’s fucking sucked, too. And it’s not just music we’re talking about. I was going to say something about the good times from 1967-1977, and then I remembered that whole Vietnam war thing. Then I thought I’d go on about how great all the new technology is. In fact this blog would have been a fanzine I never would’ve bothered to cut and paste together, get printed, and assemble. All the music I don’t buy anymore. I used to spend over $1500 per year on recorded music. A fair amount of what I post came magically from the web. I love my cell phone, and digital camera. And then I’ll be out in public somewhere hearing what is ostensibly music, and there it is: autotune. So as usual everything’s a decidedly mixed bag.
I also thought about a Vic Chestnutt memorial, but I’ve hardly heard any of his music. A friend sent me a version of his “Kick My Ass” by Garbage, which is great. Frankly, the minute I heard about Vic Chestnutt and his tragedy, I was so saddened that I couldn’t bear to seek out his music. Life is hard enough without a wheelchair. That he was out fighting the good fight was all I needed to know. I listened to part of one of his albums once, and hearing him struggle to breathe and sing was enough for me. I felt like I was suffocating. I hope he’s found peace.
Instead I’ve decided to post a recent discovery, thanks again to sakalli (see blogroll). The Crimson Jazz Trio was lead by Ian Wallace, King Crimson drummer for one of their least loved periods. He played on the decent, and kind of low-key Islands,as well as the truly horrible Earthbound. Robert Fripp has done much to rehabilitate the reputation of this particular incarnation by releasing other live documents much superior to the aforementioned travesty.
The Crimson Jazz Trio will favorably remind many of The Bad Plus, as they are a jazz piano trio playing an interesting repertoire. In this case it is the music of King Crimson. They cover a fair amount of the Belew territory, although you would not know it from this post.
I’ve spent a lot of time with this music over the years, so hearing it in a jazz context is really fun. Maybe I’d enjoy more jazz if I knew the old tunes those bop guys were deconstructing in the 50’s and 60’s.
In researching this post I also found out that Ian Wallace passed onto the great gig in the sky on February 22nd, 2007, a few months after some of these recordings. Even though he was a top session drummer for over 40 years, he is still best remembered for the year and a half he spent in King Crimson.