King Crimson

Live at the Zoom Club, 1972

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

By design, the Discipline Global Mobile Collectors' Club offers sonic snapshots of works in progress. Live at the Zoom Club, 1972 is one of the most satisfying volumes thus far in the series of archival releases -- in spite of the less than pristine sound quality of the unauthorized audience tape. The inherent beauty lies within the spirit and uniqueness of the performance, yielding consistent brilliance throughout. This October 13, 1971, set is the public debut of the third distinct group of musicians assembled under the King Crimson moniker. As the previous incarnation of the band had done, the intimate confines of the Zoom Club in Frankfurt, Germany, were chosen as the launch pad. This set -- if not same exact recording -- has surfaced on numerous bootlegs; however, the sonic restorations done for this legit release prove heroic in comparison. The concurrent Krim included an entirely new cast, aside from Robert Fripp (guitar/mellotron) of course, who remained the only constant in the lineage. Joining Fripp is David Cross (violin/flute/mellotron), John Wetton (bass/vocals), Bill Bruford (percussion), and Jamie Muir(percussion/allsorts). Although Muir's tenure with the band ultimately lasted less than a year, his influence is indelible and absolute. The same can be said of the audible percussive gestures he makes while directing the band into some of its most intense and profound instrumental explorations, one of his most notable contributions being the shimmering cymbal intro to the primordial "Book of Saturday." Additionally, in a nod to a technique perfected by multi-reedsmith Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Muir leads the band into the improvisational "Zoom" with the wail of a police whistle. Unlike most debut performances, there seem to be very few moments of hesitance during this two-plus hour set. In the liner essay -- penned by band biographer Sid Smith -- Muir vividly recalls that there were a few moments of pre-show dismay before the collective decision to improvise was made. These comfortably surround the decidedly more established pieces -- such as the two parts of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic," "Easy Money," and "Exiles" -- all of which would be refined for inclusion on the Larks' Tongues in Aspic album.