Thursday, 2 June 2011

Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins - A Scarcity of Miracles

Rounded to pleasantness

No angular instrumental bludgeoning here, just pleasant and harmonious songs led for this project by vocalist and guitarist Jakko Jakszyk, technically the outsider. That's really all that needs to be said: if you're looking for spasmodic schizoid sounds you've sought the wrong austere hospital as this is a recuperation spa of gentle rest and relaxation.


  1. I was pleasantly surprised by this disc. I initially questioned the collaboration of Fripp and what is essentially the Schizoid Band plus 2 members (bassit/chapman stick player Tony Levin and drummer Gavin Harrison) from Crimson proper. Jakko's previous solo effort sounded like a very restrained adult pop album and then there was the question of would he translate well to a more modern incarnation of Crimson after covering the classic material which is clearly old, but appreciated in itself.

    While the overall tone is mostly subdued and mellow, there are hints of upbeat Crimson-like songs such as "The Other Man." The introduction of exotic instruments also doesn't end either. Jakszyk experiments with the guzheng to open several of the tracks. It kind of interrupts the flow of the song and could possibly be edited a bit to have a few songs flow better. Fripp's ambient Frippertronics are all over the album and his embellishment with the Mel Collins' sax playing is truly a treat and the true highlight of the album. The best examples of the ambience/horn interplay are on "The Other Man", "The Price We Pay", the title track, and the closing "Light of Day."

    Lyrical content, as it seems custom in most of Jakszyk's older songs, seems to be of an autobiographical nature. That's not to say the lyrics are no less inspiring on their own as they are heard within the context of the music itself with Jakszyk's vocals being filtered through effects and playing off of Fripp's electronics and Collins' own sax-playing.

  2. Good thing I didn't try to express more than my incipient liking for this album! What a fulsome and informed response - an ardent fan no doubt, and serious musical commentator. Thanks so much for this detailed engagement - your observations certainly want me to listen again but more intenly to the album: I've played twice, once as a quick get-to-know, and then on mp3 player whilst walking. Respect.