King Crimson – Live at Jacksonville 1972 (CLUB2)

Live at Jacksonville 1972 (CLUB2)

Baseball Park, Jacksonville, FL – February 26th, 1972

(60:30):  Pictures Of A City, Cirkus, Ladies Of The Road, Formentera Lady, The Sailor’s Tale, 21st Century Schizoid Man

Live at Jacksonville 1972 is the second King Crimson Collector’s Club release, issued late in 1998, and contains an hour of the February 26th show.  Like the following night in Orlando, this is preserved on a soundboard recording on a casette and yieled one song, “Sailor’s Tale,” to the abysmal live recording Earthbound in 1972. 

It is good for a bootleg recording, but too distorted in the higher frequencies and unbalanced for mass consumption.

And like Orlando the band were in a serious transition from experiential European progressive rock to American based jazz and blues performance art.  Saxophonist Mel Collins again takes a lead role with mixed results. Some of the songs sound rough around the edges such as “Pictures Of A City.”  But there are times when they take songs into truly uncharted territory for the band and produce very interesting results.    

The opening track, even though it sounds a bit hesitant in the beginning, runs into melodic jazz in the middle before the inevitable build up into the latter half of the song.   

“Cirkus,” never the best live number, sounds even more stilted and insincere due to Boz’s flat and lifeless vocal delivery.  But the following number “Ladies Of The Road” sound very heavy and aggressive.

“Formentera Lady” serves as a quiet, lyrical contrast to the bombast of “The Sailor’s Tale.”  Meant to replicate an 18th century windstorm on the high seas, it’s the closest Crimson can come to giving the apocalypse a soundtrack.  The Mellotrons contrast nicely to the atonal saxophone and ripping guitar lines before a heavy Ian Wallace drum solo by the piece’s end.  

Despite how bizarre it sounds, it is also one of their most marketable and representative tunes.  

The show closes with “21st Century Schizoid Man” which features Boz’s demonic synthesized vocals and Collins’ nasty saxophone ranting in the middle.  

This is a good but not important release to have.  The arrangements are good but there are no interesting improvisations which are all important for the Crimso voyages.  It is, however, an historic recording since it yielded “The Sailor’s Tale” for the official Earthbound release and for that is worth having.  

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