King Crimson has become the epitome of the touring band. Ostensibly led by guitarist Robert Fripp, the band’s sole original member (and, for decades, its creative spotlight as well), these days Crimson is populated with a wealth of talent, all of whom contribute to the band’s nightly live performances.
As busy as they’ve been touring the last few years, they’ve been equally busy in documenting their performances with a slate of live album releases. Dig deep into your couch cushions or take out a bank loan ‘cause here comes yet another worthy King Crimson live set that you’re gonna want to add to your collection.
On September 28th, 2018 the band will release Meltdown In Mexico, a four-disc set, on its own DGM label. Comprised of three audio CDs and a Blu-ray disc, Meltdown features over three and a half hours of material performed during the band’s five-night residency at Teatro Metropolitan in Mexico City during July 2017. The Blue-ray disc offers over two hours of multi-camera, high-definition video footage as well as an audio soundtrack in several formats like 24/48 LPCM, high-resolution stereo, and 5.1 DTS HD-MA.
Meltdown In Mexico offers the first recorded appearance of a Crimson line-up that features Fripp, longtime bassist Tony Levin, guitarist Jakko Jakszyk, saxophonist Mel Collins, keyboardist Bill Rieflin, and a trio of talented percussionists in drummers Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto, and Jeremy Stacey. The concerts were mixed by Crimson’s Bill Rieflin from full multi-track recordings, and the band’s performance includes tracks that span Crimson’s five decades like “Breathless,” “Discipline,” “Red,” “Starless,” “The Court of the Crimson King,” “Moonchild” and, of course, their signature song, “21st Century Schizoid Man.” Meltdown In Mexico also includes the band’s inspired cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” for a total of 38 tracks spanning the three audio discs.
If Meltdown In Mexico is anything like the recently-released Live In Vienna set from 2016, or the previously-released Official Bootleg: Live In Chicago 2017, King Crimson fan have something to look forward to!
Buy the CD from Amazon.com: King Crimson’s Meltdown In Mexico
Also on That Devil Music:
King Crimson - Live In Vienna CD review
I spent time with Skip James in the 60s in Washington D.C. when James emerged from obscurity to a brief national limelight at Newport in '64. He was one of several who were 'rediscovered' by young white blues lovers using a bit of detective work to find them. That Devil Music neglects this singular genius, much overlooked or forgotten by those who prefer a cruder, less cerebral kind of blues. James had enormous subtlety in his playing and singing, and I defy anyone to attempt to mimic him in any manner. Cream knew who and what they were doing when they recorded James's "I'm So Glad", and they were English no less! As a person he was very interesting, intelligent, and quite verbal, especially with Mabel, his crusty, gravel-voiced live-in 'helpmate'. But a lifetime of too much isolation, drinking, and working crappy low-paying jobs left him with a testicular cancer that finally did him in. (Listen to his rendering of that experience with his final composition: "Washington D.C. Hospital Blues"). Skip taught me a few of his pieces, and I still spend time trying to remember and play it. There is a an old acquaintance in Washing D.C. who lent James a room to live in. During that time, he recorded James for hours. Woudn't anyone like to hear those tapes now? Well, I've moved on and lost touch with old friends there. Life is a simple case of history drifting by and soon forgotten. See ya in heaven, Skip! Can't wait to hear what you've been playing for the big man in the sky.
You wrote "Meltdown In Mexico offers the first recorded appearance of a Crimson line-up that features Fripp, longtime bassist Tony Levin, guitarist Jakko Jakszyk, saxophonist Mel Collins, keyboardist Bill Rieflin, and a trio of talented percussionists in drummers Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto, and Jeremy Stacey."
Not true. King Crimson: Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017 also features the same lineup, recorded just a few weeks prior. You can read a review of it, and see the full track and personnel listing, at All About Jazz.
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