Ending months of speculation among intense, balding, bespectacled* not-so-young men, the new King Crimson lineup was finally confirmed this week on DGMLive, Robert Fripp's website. In addition to Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto, about whom we've known for quite a long time now, drummer Gavin Harrison was announced as a fifth (and final?) member on Monday.
(*I'm not personally bespectacled, but still…)
If you're saying to yourself, "King Crimson? They're still around?," the band's MySpace page offers a few examples of what the most recent incarnation sounded like. (At the moment the site also has a scorching live version of "The Sailor's Tale" recorded in Denver in March 1972: a great illustration of that version of King Crimson doing what it did best.)
Harrison is probably best known for his work with Porcupine Tree, a neo-prog band with which Fripp has had frequent connections on CD and live recently. Harrison also played on The Bruised Romantic Glee Club, a strong recent solo album by singer-guitarist Jakko Jakszyk -- whose own Crimson connection stemmed from his membership in the 21st Century Schizoid Band, a now-inactive group of Crimson veterans.
This new quintet lineup (assumed there are no further members to be announced, which seems unlikely) will be playing a four-night run at Chicago's Park West in August 2008, in preparation for a 40th-anniversary world tour in 2009. Fans who might have been wishing for a few veteran members to return to the fold on so auspicious an occasion should have known better: Fripp has almost never taken an interest in revisiting past Crimson incarnations, or even much of the band's back catalog.
Time to start working on an excuse to be in Chicago next August, I think.
Meanwhile, in the "what a surprise" category, Eddie Jobson has announced that the live premiere of UKZ, his new quintet with former King Crimson touch-guitar player Trey Gunn (about which I blogged here; scroll down), has been postponed indefinitely. A statement from Jobson was circulated on Monday:
"With the escalating union strikes, Los Angeles is a precarious place to stage a major event right now. There is a ripple effect that impacts the whole community. Furthermore, the album is still a few months away from release and we decided it would be better if more people knew our music ahead of time. Both issues have factored into the decision."
And so it begins. Or doesn't.
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