King Crimson – Live at Summit Studios 1972 (CLUB9)

Live at Summit Studios 1972 (CLUB9)

Summit Studios, Denver, Colorado – March 12th, 1972

(73:53):  Pictures Of A City, Cadence And Cascade, Groon, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Improv: Summit Going On, My Hobby, Sailor’s Tale, The Creator Has A Master Plan including Improv: Summit & Something Else

By the end of their final tour together the Islands line up of King Crimson did a bit of radio promotion.  Prior to their shows at the Sound Track in Denver, they spent a Sunday night at Summit Studios before a small studio audience to record a set for KFML 98.6, the legendary free form FM radio station in Colorado.  

Recordings of the broadcast had been pressed before on silver disc.  Strange Tales Of The Sailors (Dynamite Studio DYNAMITE 911802) came out in 1991 followed by A Weird Person’s Guide To King Crimson (Invasion Unlimited IU9412-1) in 1994 which contains only “Groon,” Dark Kingdom on Tarantura and Frostbite in 1999 with this and the “Midnight Special” telecast on June 12th, 1973.

Live At Summit Studios is the ninth KCCC release, issued in February 2000 and containing the pre-broadcast master tape.  In addition to the much improved and pristine stereo recording, there are additional jams edited from the broadcast showcasing just how potent this band became.

After the laid back introduction the band launch into an intense “Pictures Of A City.”  More than being a rewrite of “Schizoid Man” at this point, they include a slow tempo jazz influenced interlude in the manic middle improvisation.  Very tight performances of the delicate “Cadence And Cascade” and “Groon” follow.  

They end the broadcast set with the expected “21st Century Schizoid Man,” still the tune most closely associated with the band.  Afterwards, after the sign-off, the band relax and play “Summit Going On,” a mid-tempo jazz – funk groove that allows Boz and Wallace plenty of space to duet.  

When they’re finished Boz jokes about “having a party” and inviting the guests to remain while they just play for fun.  The latter half of the recording is as loose and inventive as the first half is tight and professional.

Even Fripp gets into the fun by instigating “a King Crimson experiemnt.  We want to find out if English humour is funny in America” and introduces Ian Wallce talking about “My Hobby” in a Monty Python voice.  This was several years before Monty Python were exposed to American audiences and the joke goes over like a lead balloon.  

The band pick up the pieces with “The Sailor’s Tale,” a familiar tune from their latest album and a regular inclusion in their stage act.  The tape ends with a unique fifteen minute jam session.  They begin with a cover of “The Creator Has A Master Plan” by Pharaoh Sanders from his 1969 album Karma.  The “free jazz” style suits Collins well, and Fripp adds his tone to the piece.

They then take a wild turn in the middle with a strange 12-bar blues melody leading into Fripp playing melodies that he would recycle a couple years later in the song “Fracture” before the band return again to the Sanders piece.  It is a fascinating track and the highlight of the disc.  

The King Crimson Summit Studio broadcast is one of the essential shows to have for the collection and this is undoubtedly the definitive official version of the tape.  It is perhaps the best sounding document of this particular line up of the band which truly displays their creative talent and sense of humor.  It is a nice companion piece with Live in Denver, CO March 13, 1972 which features a good audience recording of the following night at Sound Track.  

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