This three-disc box contains a trio of entries from King Crimson's archival series. Housed within the Collectors' King Crimson, Vol. 3 (2000) are Live in San Francisco: The Roar of P4, The VROOOM Sessions, 1994, and Live at Summit Studios: Denver, 03/12/1972, respectively. After the fraKctilization of King Crimson's mid-'90s double-trio lineup, Robert Fripp (guitar) formed various "projeKcts" involving all six members; however, not necessarily at the same time. Live in San Francisco: The Roar of P4 features the fourth mini-Crim (aka ProjeKct Four) at the 7th Note Club in the city by the Bay. This all-instrumental and highly experimental aggregate features the collective efforts of touch guitarist Trey Gunn and electronic and acoustic percussionist Pat Mastelotto, guitarist Fripp, as well as bassist and Chapman stick player Tony Levin. Several of the musical themes and motifs coalescing here would show up on subsequent releases. The title track of The ConstruKction of Light contains variations of melodies and structures by ProjeKct Four under the moniker(s) "Heavy ConstruKction" and "Light ConstruKction." The VROOOM Sessions includes music made during the creation of the VROOOM EP and represents the earliest recordings issued by the double-trio unit. While these are basically jams and instrumental fragments, some eventually developed into songs on the VROOOM and ThraK releases. Although still acquiring solid footing, the music has clearly approached concepts that render it unique. Much of this has to do with the diverse nature of the personnel: Fripp, guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew, Levin, percussionist Bill Bruford, Gunn, and Mastelotto. Collectively, their sound can only be described as a definite King Crimson sonic experience. They touch upon several key motifs during this collection. "Monster Jam" is the reincarnation of the intense and furious abandon that King Crimson practically invented on epics such as "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Pictures of a City." Fripp's soloing on "Funky Jam" ranks among his finest. The ethereal tones and surreal phrasing create what is arguably the highlight of The VROOOM Sessions. Enthusiasts are likewise given the opportunity to trace the evolution of material unique to this band. "No Questions Asked" can easily be linked to what would become "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream." On Live at Summit Studios: Denver, 03/12/1972, Fripp and company deliver a session which was originally aired live March 12, 1972, on KFML in Denver, CO. This disc is more complete than any FM-derived tapes, as it contains music performed after the allotted broadcast window had elapsed. The meat of this show includes frenetic readings of several atypical 1972 Crimson staples: "Pictures of a City," "21st Century Schizoid Man," and "Sailor's Tale." However, it is the cover of Pharoah Sanders' "The Creator Has a Master Plan" which will garner the most repeated spins. It should be noted that the Collectors' King Crimson box sets were specifically designed for the Asian market and contain edited performances with respect to each title's mail-order configurations. On this volume, "My Hobby" -- an Ian Wallace bit of Monty Python-inspired madness -- has been removed.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer