HiRez Poll Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins - A KING CRIMSON PROJEKCT A SCARCITY OF MIRACLES [DVD-A]

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Rate the DVD-A of Jakszyk Fripp Collins - A KING CRIMSON PROJEKCT A SCARCITY OF..


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rtbluray

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I truly love this album, especially the opening track. Musicianship is in truly fine form on this album, with Fripp, Jakszyk, Levin, Mel Collins, and Gavin Harrison all pitching in with classy parts.

This was the album that told me that Jakko Jakszyk was a truly wonderful surround mixer, and the highlight of this record in surround is Mel Collins' wonderful soprano sax playing.
Jakko's lead singing and harmonies are a highlight as well, especially on a track like "The Price We Pay" or "Secrets" (which is another showcase for Mel Collins' playing with Fripp's wonderful soundscapes filling up the background)
Perfect easy listening music.
That is until after the beautiful "This House", where we get the very sinister and dark track "The Other Man" followed by the mysterious closer "The Light of Day", with sounds swirling around all channels.
Great stuff for all of the reasons outlined above. Not quite '10' material but definitely worthy of a '9' and comes highly recommended.
 

edisonbaggins

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Absolute 10. I totally get the correlation to Storm Corrosion. That day-vey-day is also a 10 for me.
I love getting mellow. I love atmospherics. Makes me want a massage though.
I have no nostalgia for King Crimson. I had never heard of them 3 years ago.
I don't like In the Court, Islands, Posiden and haven't given Kconstruction it's due.
I'm a Discipline man with lots of time for Red, Thrak, Lizard and Larks.
Taking this album for what it's worth, I dig it. Mrs. B will probably like it, which is a bonus.
I have quite enough wife-repellent in my collection already.
This is a reference disc in many ways.
 
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~dave~~wave~

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I picked this up recently to complete or supplement the anniversary collection $23 new.
I appreciate the mellow side to contrast with more intense Crimson.
Fan of the Frippertronics soundscapes since the 70s, so right up my alley.

A few paragraphs of history made it in to the soon-to-be-published Sid Smith comprehensive history of Crimson:

With King Crimson on hold since their short-lived return in 2008, the release of JFC's A Scarcity Of Miracles in 2011 provided a surprise instalment of the ProjeKct series. An album of finely crafted, mid-paced songs rather than the fast-moving, genre-blurring instrumentals that characterised previous ProjeKcts, the collaboration wrong-footed many listeners. But the ProjeKct experiments were never about a given style but about evolving beyond a creative impasse. While Fripp's playing was rightly lauded for its "wild card" properties and the quirky angularity of his soloing, there was always a deeply emotional quality to his work that found its most haunting expression in Soundscaping. Jakszyk's work in extrapolating the material from their initial improvisations was something special indeed. The aching melancholia within the Soundscapes was homed in on by Jakszyk as a springboard for his writing. A Scarcity Of Miracles is an important release, representing the most fully-integrated use of Fripp's Soundscapes in a rock-orientated context. Here, far from an adjunct or mere decoration, they were absolutely central to the finished sound—a tightly woven tapestry of memorable melody and often heartbreaking atmospheres. For some listeners, however, the restraint was a turn-off and it was not uncommon on forums and social media to see the responsibility for what was regarded as an unwelcome blandness laid at Jakszyk's feet.

Ironically, the relative lack of sharp dynamics was something Jakszyk had raised in production meetings with Fripp as a potential concern. For example, "The Light Of Day"'s original bass and drums were removed at Fripp's direction. Ultimately, the responsibility for the downtempo mood and direction belonged to Fripp. Jakszyk, trusting his senior colleague's judgement, happily acquiesced. Fripp later declared the completed album to be "a stunning sonic tapestry, carefully woven and satisfying to the ear."

The album picked up a brace of positive reviews. All About Jazz's John Kelman stated: "A Scarcity Of Miracles returns Fripp to a nearly all-English line-up for the first time since the '70s, and while impossible to define why, possesses the most decidedly British feel of any group project in which Fripp has participated since his 1990s work with David Sylvian. It may lack the sharp corners, jagged edges and harder surfaces of latter-day Crimson, and there's none of the overt symphonic prog of early Crim, but Jakszyk's refined vocals, soft-spoken playing and haunting songwriting, Fripp's searing lines and orchestral Soundscaping, and Collins' soaring melodies make for the best group record—Crimson or no—to come from the Fripp camp in nearly 30 years."

The Sea Of Tranquility website wrote: "A Scarcity Of Miracles is easily the most different release ever put out under a King Crimson-related banner, and also the most intriguing. Who knows whether this line-up will produce anything after this, but let's hope so. I'm sure most folks never thought that Robert Fripp would take KC down into pop and jazz waters, but that's kind of what you get here, and it's quite refreshing. Don't expect this CD to jump out at you on first listen, but give it a few tries and all the rewards will surely reveal themselves to you. Beautiful stuff."

The Prog Rock Music Talk website offered this perspective: "Don't expect speedy payoffs with this album ... I immediately liked it better the second time around, and the pleasure increased with each subsequent spin. I believe this will be the case for most listeners, each time revealing subtle nuances previously missed. Albums like this rarely reach the point of diminishing returns. Though not technically complex or cluttered, there is a lot to take in on these six tracks. More than most should expect to pick up on in one go-round. Be patient—both with this album and with yourself—and the rewards will be comparable to the time you put in."

Excerpt from In the Court of King Crimson: An Observation Over 50 Years:
Copyright Sid Smith, 2019
Revised & Expanded Edition published by
Panegyric Publishing


BTW, found the full-size original painting that was cropped for the album art.


A Scarcity of Miracles.jpg
 

sjcorne

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I'm going for the full "10" on this one. I really dig the mellow style, and the 5.1 mix is pretty amazing to my ears - it definitely feels like the album was made to be experienced in this format. I know a lot of folks don't care for Jakko's 5.1 mixing style, but I'm struggling to find any fault with this one. Maybe the bass guitar gets to be a bit obscured at times? A minor quibble.

The 5.1 mix is so complex and intricate that it's difficult to describe exactly what's happening at any given moment. When the full band enters on the title track, the surround field just feels absolutely huge and expansive. Not only are there fully-discrete elements in the rear speakers (Collins' sax, backing vocals, etc), but also ambient synth and guitar textures that project out into the listening space. There's even some fun bits where the sax swirls around the room.

All six songs sound fantastic in 5.1, but my pick for the best surround track would have to be "The Light Of Day." Jakko's harmonies are spread around the room to great effect, with Fripp's distorted guitar bursting from the left rear speaker. I found the album merely interesting in stereo, but the excellent 5.1 treatment transforms it into something else entirely. This could end up being a demo disc for me.
 
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