Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crimson Jazz Trio: I Talk to the Wind

A number of years ago, a question had traveled the circuit on Facebook that asked folks to list ten albums that they would take to a deserted island. One of those on my list was King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King.” I became aware of this album with a Christmas present in 1972. I’ve loved it ever since.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto the music of the Crimson Jazz Trio and their jazz interpretation of the music of King Crimson. The group was the brainchild of Ian Wallace who served as King Crimson’s third drummer during 1971-1972. Wallace also was the second drummer for the King Crimson alumni group – the 21st Century Schizoid Band, which was named after the lead track (“21st Century Schizoid Man”) from King Crimson’s debut album.

Wanting to interpret a number of King Crimson tunes as jazz pieces, Wallace enlisted pianist Jody Nardone and fretless bassist Tim Landers in 2005. The band recorded two albums prior to Wallace’s death in 2007. The first of these, “King Crimson Songbook Volume One,” was issued in 2005 and featured one of my favorite King Crimson songs, “I Talk to the Wind.”

The best known version of the tune features Greg Lake and Ian McDonald on vocals; however, two recordings of the song were recorded by the King Crimson prequel band, Giles, Giles, and Fripp. The Crimson Jazz Trio does a unique arrangement of the song – sans vocals. Very nice indeed.

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