Tuesday, November 7, 2017

CD Review: New Prog-Rock Releases From King Crimson, Simon Phillips & Wingfield Reuter Sirkis

English rock band King Crimson has been a constant touring force since their conception in 1969. While the band's line-up may have changed over the course of the last 40-plus years, their music has always been the pinnacle of progressive rock. The band recently released a new live album titled "Official Bootleg: Live In Chicago, June 28th, 2017." It showcases the band's most current line-up, which is cemented by the band's only remaining original member Robert Fripp.
 
The new 2-disc set begins with a quick tune-up, which leads into the 9-plus minute instrumental piece "Lark's Tongues In Aspic, Part One." King Crimson cover all parts of their long career, including songs from their eighties ("Neurotica" and "Indiscipline") and 2000 ("The ConstruKction Of Light" and "Level Five") albums. The magic of King Crimson is how well they recreate their classic songs like "The Lizard Suite" and "Islands" in this live setting. This set is filled with epic songs (10-minute "Pictures Of A City" & 14-minute "Starless") that allows you to get lost in the moment of theseperformances . The two-and-a-half hour set concludes with a live version of David Bowie's "Heroes," which was released on it's own EP earlier this year, and a magnificent 15-minute version of their classic "21st Century Schizoid Man." To find out more about this new live release from King Crimson, please visit dgmlive.com.
 
English rock/jazz drummer Simon Phillips recently released his new solo album titled "Protocol 4." Phillips may be best known as the drummer of Toto during the nineties, but Phillips also worked with The Who, Jeff Beck and even Judas Priest. His new album teams him up with legendary guitarist Greg Howe, Keyboardist Dennis Hamm and bassist Ernest Tibbs. The new 9-song release kicks off with the nearly 9-minute progressive rock piece "Nimbus" that keeps the energy flowing with its mid-song tempo changes. The jazz fusion of "Pentangle" and the funky groove of "Solitaire" showcase the diversity of the band's sound with Phillips' drumming keeping pace. The hour-long album wraps up with the guitar blues of "Phantom Voyage" and the more energetic run of "Azorez." Simon Phillips and his touring band are currently on the road for a 2-month world tour that concludes in California in mid-December. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about his new album "Protocol 4," please visit simon-phillips.com.
 
The trio of Mark Wingfield (guitar), Marus Reuter (guitar) and Asaf Sirkis (drums) return with a new rock/jazz fusion album titled "Lighthouse." It features 7-tracks of jamming, progressive music that look to push out the boundaries of rock. All of the songs were recorded live during the studio sessions with very little, to no overdubs. The album begins with the song "Zinc" as Sirkis' drum work keeps things steady, while Mark Wingfield sparks up the song's intensity. Markus Reuter leads the way with his AU8 touch guitar on the spacey jam of "Derecho." Then, the album takes you on a journey with the back-to-back epic pieces "Ghost Light" and "Magnetic," before finishing up with the wildly energetic "A Hand In The Dark" and the steady riff driven "Surge." To find out more about Wingfield Reuter Sirkis and their latest release "Lighthouse," please visit markwingfield-moonjune.bandcamp.com.

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