The Return of the Crimson King

Wooo. Exicting news. Sounds like the next King Crimson line-up is underway. No Trey this time, but Levin is back, so no great loss. Swapping one of the best warr/stick players on the planet for another. And, apparently the drummer from Porcupine Tree is joining in. So that’s quite exciting. Not that they’re likely to touch down in the UK, let along Scotland. But a new Crimson album is always welcome. Who knows what Fripp will come up with next πŸ™‚

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2 Responses to The Return of the Crimson King

  1. belewhale says:

    Exciting news to be sure!
    But I couldn’t DISAGREE with your statement “No Trey this time, but Levin is back, so no great loss” more!
    There is NO DOUBT – Tony Levin IS the world’s BEST BASS/CHAPMAN STICK GUITARIST there is!
    And Trey Gunn IS the world’s BEST WARR/TOUCH GUITARIST there is!

    Similar instruments, but in the hands of these 2 MASTERS, the outcome is world’s apart…..
    Each has a totally different approach to their instruments.

    Tony Levin, in my world, is one of THE FOUR KINGS OF KC. His approach to bass lines is totally supreme – like no other, Tony will take a piece, and turn in into something totally incredible. He, like no other I have experienced, has taken the bass, from being a sometimes boring and repetitive – but none the less important – anchor for the piece, into a starring role up front and centre in its own right. One needs to look no further than ‘Sleepless’, and ‘Three of a Perfect Pair’, just for starters. His bass line is not just the back-bone, it is the whole emphasis, within the song. Truly brilliant. I think it was Adrian Belew who once said that Tony was just so good, that he could take any song, and would know instinctively, the combination of the best bass notes for the piece, and play them just right. Truly a MASTER of his instrument.

    As for Trey, even when he played the stick earlier on in his career, his sound was biased towards his piano roots – as is evidenced later with works such as ‘The Deception of the Trush’…… The Warr guitar is a perfect combination for Trey, as it gives him the range similar to that of the piano – allowing him to go wherever the piece may require, and not be restricted just to the bass register/parts. The Double Trio era was the perfect construKct for Trey, as Tony took care of the bass pieces, leaving Trey open to add his incredible talent and enterpretations to the KC classics of that era. Later he would go on, and take up the role of the bassist, which he did, and made is own, with the combination and use of the full register available to him on the Warr Guitar. (For more info on Trey Gunn, checkout this link to a really interesting recent article about Trey and Warr Guitars –
    http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2008/May/Gunning_for_Warr.aspx
    Truly a MASTER of his instrument also.

    When I heard that the mighty beast was re-awakening in preparation for the 40th anniversary of KC, and that Gavin Harrison was to be included as an additional drummer beside P@, I dared to hope that just maybe, RF, in his brilliance, had decided to try the ‘Double Trio’ format once again – and that Trey may be returning to the fold for this short tour…… But it seems that my dreams have been dashed against the rocks of despair. Alas, no Trey. But boy, what a wonderful reunion it would have been. It has come then, as no surprise to me, that, contrary to RF’s seeming distaste for ‘old music’ in past construKcts/tours of late, the new version of KC will be returning to playing some good old classic 80’s (the four kings) era Crimson …. i.e. LTIA II, 3OAPP, Thela, Sex, and from later on – Elephant and Dinosaur……
    Of course, no sight of ‘The Deception of the Trush’, or any other classics from the late 90’s and new millenium era. Without Trey, it would be pretty tough for Tony to fully replicate that which Trey brought to the musical feast.
    So yes, I grieve the great loss of Trey Gunn’s presence in the King Crimson line-up. A large gap that seems will remain unfilled.

  2. riadsala says:

    Hmmm. I agree, and disagree. (We’re very polite here aren’t we!). I agree both are great players, and both in very different ways. But I definitly don’t see how the change would be considered a loss. Sure, they’re not going to sound like the late 90/early 00’s Crimson, but when has Crimson ever sat still for any length of time? One of the strengths of the band (are they really a band? or some sort of movement?) is that they constantly evolve. And while going back to just Tony, would be viewed as a step background, I don’t think that’s the case.

    Too much change has taken place since the Discipline days. And who knows what GH will bring to the mix… I saw him play with P Tree last december and he was stunning. (I’m going to bet that GH will take over main “rock” drum duties and PM will end up more on the electronic side of things, but i could be wrong, and probably will be).

    I think having just the one bassist, maybe even sticking to bass guitar most of the time could be a catalyst for this incarnation of the band. Come on, 99% of rock bands manage fine with just a bassist. And Trey’s absence will leave more room for Belew and Fripp. πŸ™‚ Crimson managed fine back in the day with just one bass, one (acoustic) kit, one guitar and vocals. And that was before Fripp got his huge rack of effects!

    It would be great to see Fripp et al take the ball from bands like Tool and Porcupine Tree (who were influenced by Crim in the first place). But who knows….

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