Category Archives: Avant Garde/Improvisation

King Crimson 50 Year Anniversary

King Crimson: 1981-2019

King Crimson: A 21st Century Guide, Part 3

The Return of King Crimson

1981 brought a new development to the musical landscape that was very surprising and confusing to many music fans: Robert Fripp announced the formation of a new version of King Crimson that would go on tour as well as releasing a new album. While the return of King Crimson was unexpected, it didn’t create the kind of controversy and confusion that the actual band did. Fripp, of course, was the only original member of the band, and he brought drummer Bill Bruford, a member of the group’s 1973-74 model, to the table as well.

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Yoko Ono: Approximately Infinite Universe & Feeling The Space

In 1972 and 1973 Yoko Ono released two of her most successful albums, Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space. Both of these albums are focused on issues of women’s rights and the pain of living in a male-dominated world, and they contain some of Ono’s sharpest and most interesting songwriting as well as an attempt to create music that sounded like rock music of the time in order to carry her message forth.

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Don Cherry: Symphony For Improvisers

Related: Don Cherry: Musician of the World

Trumpet player Don Cherry was pretty much Blue Note’s premiere find in the 60s avant-garde jazz sweepstakes. The label was a bit late to the party, and though they ended up releasing excellent recordings by formidable avant-garde names such as Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor, that was only after these musicians had already done groundbreaking work on other labels who proceeded to drop them eventually.

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GoGo Penguin’s Transmission From a Humdrum Star

GoGo Penguin, the piano trio from Manchester UK that has received a great deal of attention since its debut in 2012, utilizes the services of sound engineer Joe Reiser. Reiser began working with (joined?) the group with the release of their second album 2.0, along with bassist Nick Blacka, another essential element who joined at the same time. Reiser produced both 2.0 and the group’s recent album, Humdrum Star, sharing production with Brendan Williams. Reiser is generally acknowledged as the band’s fourth member, and integral to the band’s live sound as well as to their recording process.

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