Greg Lake – Songs of a Lifetime

I am constantly amazed by the powerful brilliance of Greg Lake’s voice. He is instrumental in his role in the history of progressive rock. I was listening to the 2nd and 3rd tracks on King Crimson’s, In the Court of the Crimson King, marveling at the richness found in the songs he sings, “I Talk To The Wind” and “Epitath“.  I decided to dig deeper into Greg Lake’s catalog. His vocal tone is a blessing within the music of our heart.

I spent time beguiled with his live recording, Songs of a Lifetime from 2013. Its a wonderful album to acquiesce with on a lazy afternoon. I relished how Greg Lake took the time to share his memories with an enraptured audience. The revelations allowed further insight into Greg’s artistic process which brought the songs greater sustenance.

So if you are searching for an hour of musical fulfillment, I strongly urge you to listen to Greg Lake’s Songs of a Lifetime.

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King Crimson – Live In Toronto

This is the first full concert release by the current line-up of King Crimson. This Official Collectors’ Bootleg captures King Crimson on a single night in the middle of the band’s Canadian tour in November 2015.

This is the first full concert release by the current line-up of King Crimson. This Official Collectors’ Bootleg captures King Crimson on a single night in the middle of the band’s Canadian tour in November 2015. With the exception of one small edit following an announcement before the band take the stage, the running time of this concert is exactly as it was heard in the hall by those fortunate enough to have been there. Even by the high standards set by King Crimson’s current line-up, this concert was agreed by all involved to have that extra special ingredient, making it the perfect choice when seeking an official release to counter the poorly recorded bootlegs that have begun to circulate.

Personnel: Mel Collins: Saxes & Flute, Robert Fripp: Guitar & Keyboards, Gavin Harrison: Drums, Jakko Jakszyk: Guitar & Voice, Tony Levin: Basses & Stick, Pat Mastelotto: Drums, Bill Rieflin: Drums & Keyboards

 

 

 

 

Disc 1:
1 Threshold Soundscape
2 Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I
3 Pictures Of A City
4 VROOOM
5 Radical Action (To Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind)
6 Meltdown
7 Hell Hounds of Krim
8 The ConstruKction of Light
9 Red
10 Epitaph

Disc 2:
1 Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
2 Easy Money
3 Level Five
4 The Letters
5 Sailor’s Tale
6 Starless
7 The Court of the Crimson King
8 21st Century Schizoid Man

This autumn, they will be releasing their long-awaited and much anticipated first major album, a comprehensive live release, taking the best performances of each song from the extensive set list (which changes nightly) and also including footage of selected performances. It will be released to coincide with the band’s 2016 European tour, which begins in the UK with two concerts at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury on September 4th & 5th, the band’s only UK dates for 2016.

 

Steven Wilson Remixes Yes in Hi-Res

I awoke this morning from a stimulating dream about Yes and progressive music. It was an unusual dream in that I visualized  listening to a Yes recording with much of the dream focused on a woodcut edition of Roger Dean album art. I think this was all due to looking at Yes hi-res recordings on the Pono Music Store before I went to bed last night 😉

I sat down with my breakfast this morning and searched the Pono Music Store once again. My searches focused on the Yes Relayer recording in 192/24 resolution format. I’m confident the cover art in my dreams was Relayer. I must confess I know very little about that recording nor I have ever listened to it. I toyed with the idea of purchasing and downloading the Pono edition of the recording when I saw a side note inquiring if this recording was the recent Steven Wilson remix. I learned from the Official Yes Website that the Steven Wilson edition contained far more content in the Blu-Ray/CD edition and was 96/24 hi-res.

Steven Wilson has been the point person since 2009 remixing the Four Horsemen of Progressive Rock King Crimson, Jethro Tull, ELP, and Yes. His precision engineering and keen ear has increased the listening experience of many classic recordings.

Steven Wilson’s 2015 focus will be to support his next recording, Hand. Cannot. Erase. which becomes available March 3rd, 2015. I am considering the Blu-Ray Hi-Res release.

Steven Wilson placed reasonably priced tickets on sale for the USA/Canada leg of Tour 2015. I’d love to see him perform. It could be a dream come true 😉

King Crimson Returns

Progressive rock is vibrant to the core of my rock music self. The group King Crimson and its genius founder, guitarist Robert Fripp serve as prog rock bedrock foundation.

I can hardly contain my excitement as I share the news that King Crimson has reunited and will be performing concerts in North America this September.

Speaking to Uncut, Fripp said: “King Crimson is returning to active service. We are on-call to be ready for a live performance on September 1, 2014. Seven members. Four English, three American. Three drummers. It’s a different configuration of King Crimson than before. Some are familiar names, maybe more than others.”

This line-up – the 8th in the band’s history – will be Fripp, Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin, Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto, Mel Collins and Jakko Jakszyk.

They are all former Crimson members, except Rieflin and Jakszyk who have been involved on the fringes of Crimson for a few years. Rieflin collaborated with Chris Wong, Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox in a project called The Humans, while Jakszyk played in Jakszyk Fripp & Collins, alongside Robert Fripp and Mel Collins.

There are no plans, Fripp says, for the new King Crimson to enter a studio. They will play “reconfigured” versions of existing Crimson material.

Read more at http://www.uncut.co.uk/node/19245#itkXbRfOH83fW698.99

King Crimson — 2014 Tour Dates (more TBA)

Here’s the full list of King Crimson tour dates:

9/9 & 9/10 @ The Egg – Albany, NY
9/12 & 9/13 @ Kimmel Center – Philadelphia, PA
9/15 & 9/16 @ Colonial Theatre – Boston, MA
9/18, 9/19 & 9/20 @ Best Buy Theater – New York, NY
9/23 @ Barrymore Theatre – Madison, WI
9/25 & 9/26 @ The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL
9/30 & 10/1 @ Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
10/3 & 10/4 @ Warfield Theater – San Francisco, CA
10/6 @ Moore Theatre – Seattle, WA

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Greg Lake, Autobiography:Lucky Man & CD:Songs of a Lifetime

Greg Lake has a wonderful voice with memorable inflection and hauntingly wonderful tonality. He is a vital vocal energy in the music of our heart.

Lucky Man – Autobiography

I keep discovering audio books to listen to which help pass time illuminated by the spoken word. Greg Lake is the midst of writing his autobiography ‘Lucky Man’ which is projected to be completed by the end of this year. As good fortune would have it you can buy Volume 1 of his book now as a USB guitar collectible (Click the image for ordering information). Greg Lake is our reader which adds a special intimacy to the listening/fan experience. The daybreak is your midnight; the colors have all died.  Disturbing the waters of our lives, of our lives, of our lives, lives,  Lives, lives…  Of our lives. – Greg Lake, “Take A Pebble

Songs of a Lifetime

Greg Lake has released a live recording of his 2012 Songs of a Lifetime Tour. He is a sheer delight to witness in concert. You will be amazed when you hear him sing how you drift back to the time when King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer graced your stereo system. He typifies the feeling that you share with him in a concert hall in the quote below. We saw him a few years back with Keith Emerson at the Ridgefield Playhouse. It was a marvelous show and C’est La Vie was our highlight that evening.

The idea for the tour came about as Lake was writing his autobiography ‘Lucky Man,’ which is due toward the end of 2013. “Behind these songs there were often stories to be told and it occurred to me that the same must be true for the audience as well,” he says in a press release. “It was then that I thought of the idea of doing a series of very small intimate concerts where I could perform these songs and exchange stories with the audience, in a way reliving the time when the music we shared together really became part of our identity and in a way became the backdrop to our lives.”

View this tasty sample of one of Greg Lake’s “Songs of a Lifetime” tour concerts in this short video, filmed and edited by noted Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Archivist and Curator Tony Ortiz.

Opeth – Prog Rock

My first intention when I started this prog rock series was to stay the prescribed course by writing about progressive rock “sentimental favorites” such as Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Yes, Asia, Emerson, Lake and Palmer etc. I soon surmised there are lots of articles already written about these bands. My prog rock goal shifted to music journalist(educator) to learn and share more about what has transpired in prog rock circles.

Opeth 2011

Today’s blog post is about a band from Sweden named Opeth and the prog rock  or heavy metal (depending upon your frame of reference) sub-genre known as progressive metal. Progressive metal is defined as a blend of heavy, guitar-oriented metal music enriched with compositional innovation and complex arrangements, usually expressed through diverse instrumentation and often (but not always) with odd-time signatures. Common, but not essential to define the movement, are the frequent use of keyboards, high-pitched vocals, concept lyrical themes and tracks of longer duration. Similar to progressive rock, progressive metal draws influences from other genres, such as jazz/fusion, ethnic, classical and symphonic music. Progressive rock pioneers such as King Crimson, Deep Purple and Rush  are acclaimed as progenitors of progressive metal.  (My thanks to the Prog Archives Website Progessive Metal Team)

HERITAGE - 2011

Staying linear with King Crimson, Steven Wilson and Opeth the intersection continues with Opeth’s 10th studio recording, Heritage which was mixed by Steven Wilson(who has played on as well as produced various Opeth recordings). I heard Heritage for the first time this morning . I was literally swept away by its warm tonality and lush heavy rock interludes.

A further point of intersection is initiated when Mikael Åkerfeldt collaborated with Steven Wilson to create Storm CorrosionStorm Corrosion’s sound can best be described as ambient, epic, enchanting, and orchestral.[1]

Storm Corrosion Gatefold Vinyl Sleeve

It was just announced that Opeth have been nominated in various categories at the inaugural Progressive Music Awards 2012 brought you by Prog Magazine.

Opeth nominated at inaugural Progressive Music Awards

Opeth are nominated in the following categories open to public voting.

Live Event Category: Opeth at Brixton Academy 2011 CLICK HERE TO VOTE
Album of the Year Category: Opeth – Heritage CLICK HERE TO VOTE

Mikael Åkerfeldt has also been nominated in the Guiding Light category which will chosen by a carefully selected council.

Steven Wilson – Prog Rock

I thought it proper to continue the prog rock series with Steven Wilson. The intersection with yesterday’s King Crimson blog post underlies Steven Wilson’s passion for the technological expanse of their music. He has done a superlative job remixing their catalog. Steven Wilson acknowledges that listening to Robert Fripps’s approach and the notes that he chooses has shaped his style of guitar playing.

I plucked this quote from Steven Wilson’s biography on Spotify.

Thanks to a prolific work ethic, self-taught producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Wilson has gradually become one of the U.K.’s most critically acclaimed artists.

imgI decided to stop off at Barnes & Noble to see if I could find a music magazine to fortify my research for this week’s prog rock series. I was searching for Prog Rock Magazine but little did I realize hiding with the jazz magazines would be a copy of Guitar Player Magazine‘s August 2012 issue. I smiled reassuringly to see Steven Wilson with his Gold Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 on the cover. The cover quote solidified my convictions, “Steven Wilson, Reimagining Progessive Rock”.

My inherent sixth sense of music had led me to find a validated discovery. Steven Wilson has forged a major link  in the chain between the 70’s electric fusion of Miles Davis and King Crimson’s Robert Fripp. This linkage is forged by the the fact that Steven Wilson chose King Crimson’s Lizard as the first remixing effort. Steven Wilson states that he realized how integral jazz was to Lizard and King Crimson. Lizard was made with musicians from the British jazz scene in a very analogous fashion to Miles Davis process with Bitches Brew.

I have listened throughout the day to Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson’s solo efforts. I didn’t intend to over look his other work with No-Man, I.E.M., Bass Communion or Blackfield. It was a capacity issue for me to try to assimilate all of his group projects in a day 😉

I found the Porcupine Tree recordings mesmerizing, equally wildly chilling as they were rich in innovative tonalities.

I became further intrigued by Steven Wilson’s Insurgentes, part documentary/part surreal road movie.

Steven Wilson said this about his second solo album, Grace for Drowning:

‘Insurgentes’ was an important step for me into something new. This record takes that as a starting point, but it’s more experimental and more eclectic. For me the golden period for music was the late sixties and early seventies, when the album became the primary means of artistic expression, when musicians liberated themselves from the 3 minute pop song format, and started to draw on jazz and classical music especially, combining it with the spirit of psychedelia to create “journeys in sound” I guess you could call them. So without being retro, my album is a kind of homage to that spirit. There’s everything from [Ennio] Morricone-esque film themes to choral music to piano ballads to a 23 minute progressive jazz –inspired piece. I’ve actually used a few jazz musicians this time, which is something I picked up from my work remixing the King Crimson records”[8]


Get All You Deserve, is a new high-definition audio-visual set from Steven Wilson. Directed by long-time visual collaborator Lasse Hoile, Get All You Deserve was filmed in Mexico City during the recent Grace For Drowning Tour. The set captures the spectacular live experience that Wilson and Hoile created for the tour on Blu-ray, DVD and 2CD.

The progressive rock chain link will continue tomorrow when I write about the prog rock sub-genre progressive metal and the collaboration between Porcupine Tree‘s Steven Wilson and Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt on Storm Corrosion It has been described as being “the last part in the odd trilogy of records completed by (Opeth’s) Heritage and Steven Wilson’s brand new solo album Grace for Drowning.[21][22]

King Crimson – Prog Rock

The focus of the Music of Our Heart blog shifts with electronic music to the genre of progressive rock (Prog Rock).

Prog Rock week commences with a look at the foundation group, King Crimson.They have been active in three different incarnations, 1969-1974, 1981-1984, and 1994-2009. Each nucleus had Robert Fripp as a core member. Robert Fripp along with Steven Wilson(Porcupine Tree) are primarily responsible for the remix of the 40th anniversary archive series.

Discipline Global Mobile (DGM, or Discipline GM) is an independent record label that was founded in 1992 by Robert Fripp. The business model for DGM precludes King Crimson product from being available on iTunes, Spotify or anywhere else digitally.

DGM aims “to be a model of ethical business in an industry founded on exploitation, oiled by deceit, riven with theft and fueled by greed,” according to Fripp.[1] Its policy is that its artists retain all copyrights; consequently, even DGM’s “knotwork” corporate logo is owned by its designer.[2] DGM’s aims were called “exemplary”, and DGM was credited with having expanded “the possibilities of experimental music” and having improved the environment for King Crimson.[3]

In The Court of the Crimson King stands out as the masterpiece in the collection.
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

When “In The Wake of Poseidon” was first issued in 1970, Melody Maker ran the unforgettable headline: “If Wagner were alive he’d work with King Crimson”.  For an album that shouldn’t have been recorded by a band that didn’t exist, “In The Wake of Poseidon” continues to intrigue and delight King Crimson fans 40 years after its initial release.

King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

Lizard, is even by today’s standards, a remarkable and extraordinary album. King Crimson’s third studio album still has the capacity to polarise opinion amongst enthusiasts, and even those who helped make the record in September and October 1970.

Islands, the only studio album from the second performing lineup of King Crimson.  This release fully vindicates the claim that this lineup – short lived though it may have been – had as much to offer musically as any of the more well-known King Crimson incarnations.

King Crimson - Islands - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

Starless In Bible Black has often been overlooked. Yet even a cursory listen reveals this to be a powerful record, brimming with confidence borne out of the band’s increasing mastery of the concert platform.

King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black - 40th Anniversary Series(CD/DVD-A)

Released in 1974 after King Crimson had “ceased to exist”, Red remains a remarkably powerful document of a group quitting at the top of its game.

Released in 1981, Discipline was a startling reinvention with a new line-up performing radically different material that managed to delight fans, confound critics & pick up a substantial new audience along the way.

30 years on, Discipline remains one of the key albums of the early 1980s and one of the most popular and influential in King Crimson’s catalogue.

King Crimson - Discipline - 40th Anniversary Series (CD/DVD-A)

The descriptions of the CDs in the series is courtesy of King Crimson and Robert Fripp.   (© 2009-2012 Robert Fripp)

Greg Lake and Epitath

Lake in concert, 2005
Image via Wikipedia

Greg Lake took the time recently to answer many of his fans fan questions on his Web site. There  is lots of great information to read about in the extensive Q&A. Great news Emerson and Lake plan to return to America touring again at some point. Glad to hear this as their Ridgefield, Ct. show was magical.

If the High Voltage Festival ELP reunion concert in England on July 25, 2010 goes well then we will see an Emerson, Lake and Palmer US tour also! Welcome Back My Friends! Having seen Keith Emerson Band live, Carl Palmer Band live, Asia live one Emerson and Lake live, ELP live would be the piece de resisitance.

I love the song Epitath from King Crimson’s In The Court of the Crimson King. Its a lovely haunting epic that encircles my heart and soul often. I was pleased to read Greg Lake’s interpretation of it. Allow me to share it with you.

Greg Lake wrote:

Epitaph is basically a song about looking with confusion upon a world gone mad. King Crimson had a strange ability to write about the future in an extremely prophetic way and the messages this song contains are even more relative today than they were when the song was originally written.

The walls on which the prophets wrote are cracking at the seams, upon the instruments of death, the sunlight brightly gleams. When every man is torn apart with nightmares and with dreams, will no one lay the laurel wreath when silence drowns the screams. Confusion will be my Epitaph.

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