Friday, 21 March 2014

Fabio Zuffanti - La Quarta Vittima

Zuffanti is one of the big personalities in Italian prog. With his various own projects like Hostsonaten and as a member of La Maschera Di Cera he is a busy man. But this new solo porject is something else indeed. It has all the hallmarks of the best in RPI but with a real edge, taking it to almost avant rock regions. Every track is brilliantly constructed with many twists and turns, but there is a natural progression in the arrangements. The star of the show however is guitarist Laura Marsano. I don't know anything about her and there isn't much on the internet, but she is a star in the making. Her solos on La Certezza Impossibile and the closing track are exceptional. Think Guthrie Govan's emotive solo on Steven Wilson's Drive Home to get an idea of how good she is. In fact there is a sort of Wilson vibe about the album, not similar in sound to Raven, but something in it's complex and grand construction. Actually the man does get a "grazie" in the booklet so maybe there is a musical link somehow. This is an exceptional album. It's what the best prog is about. Taking the best from the past but taking it into new imaginative arenas.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Crimson ProjeKCt


Withe the release of The Crimson ProjeKCt - Live in Tokyo we now have live documents from two alumni bands representing both ends of the King Crimson timeline. The earlier 21st Century Schizoid Band included Mel Collins, Ian McDonald, Peter Giles and Michael Giles, later replaced with the late, great Ian Wallace. This band was fronted by Jakko Jakszyk who is now guitarist and vocalist with the latest, official KC lineup. Live in New York is a great set, showcasing exciting and sometimes beguiling versions of early KC material. It's obvious the band are really into playing this material live and the addition of Jakko is a huge bonus. He is a great frontman, full of humour and love for being able to play with his heroes. The band never split up I believe, just sort of fizzled out after Ian Wallace's death.

The Crimson ProjeKCt showcases the Adrian Belew period and here he is back with a double trio again, as per the Thrak grouping. Along with the usual KC suspects of Belew, Mastelotto and Levin are Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph from Belew's Power Trio and Touch guitarist Markus Reuter. To be honest this live set is pretty electrifying. It's KC, but more. Maybe the absense of Fripp has allowed the band a bit more freedom to play about with the arrangements. Whatever, there is a depth and density to the playing which really gives these pieces a new lease of life. In the words from Indiscipline, "I like it"! Sorry about that!