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viernes, 30 de diciembre de 2016

Jakko Jakszyk - The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (2006)


El Mago Alberto nos regala esto para fin de año: disco doble solista del actual cantante y guitarrista de King Crimson, liderando un equipazo de lujo con mucho King Crimson (Gavin Harrison, Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Ian Wallace, Ian MacDonald, entre muchísimos otros) mucho Canterbury, mucho sentimiento, versiones subrimes... en fin, una joyita que muchos cabezóns apreciarán sobremanera. Un disco imperdible dentro del cat{alogo de la Biblioteca Sonora.

Artista: Jakko Jakszyk
Álbum: The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Año: 2006
Género: Rock progresivo / Canterbury
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
CD 1:
1. The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
2. Variations on a Theme by Holst
3. Catley's Ashes
4. When Peggy Came Home
5. Highgate Hill
6. Forgiving
7. No One Left to Lie To
8. The Things We Throw Away
9. Doxy, Dali and Duchamp
10. Srebrenica
11. When We Go Home
CD 2:
1. As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still (incorporating: That Still and Perfect
Summer - Astral Projection in Pinner)
2. Pictures of an Indian City
3. Nirvana for Mice
4. Islands
5. The Citizen King
6. Soon After

Alineación:
- Jakko M. Jakszyk / vocals, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards, mellotron, bass guitar, balalaika, sitar, flute, strings, whistles, sound effects, percussion, programming
Gavin Harrison / drums
Mel Collins / alto and tenor saxes, flute
Dave Stewart / keyboards (CD 1 - 9, CD 2 - 1, 3, 5)
Robert Fripp / soundscapes, electric guitars (CD 1 - 6, 11)
Danny Thompson / double bass (CD 1 - 9, CD 2 - 4)
Mark King / bass guitar (CD 1 -3)
Nathan King / bass guitar (CD 1 - 5)
John Giblin - bass guitar (CD 1 - 6)
Lyndon Connah - piano (CD 1 - 8)
Ian MacDonald - flute (CD 1 - 2)
Caroline Lavelle - cello (CD 1 - 2)
Helen Kaminga - viola (CD 1 - 2)
Clive Brooks - drums (CD 2 - 1)
Gary Barnacle - alto flute, flute, bass flute and piccolo, tenor and soprano saxes (CD 2 - 1)
Hugh Hopper - bass guitar (CD 1 - 1)
Pandit Dinesh - tabla, vocals (CD 2 - 2)
Ian Wallace - drums (CD 2 - 4)
Suzanne Barbieri - backing vocals (CD 1 - 11)
Django Jakszyk - voice (CD 1 - 11)
Camille Jakszyk - voice (CD 1 - 11)
Chris Baker - Irish priest (CD 1 - 4)





Quizás haya alguno que no lo conoce al Jakko este, veamos antes que nada quien carajo es:

Michael "Jakko" Jakszyk nacido como Michael Lee Curran (Londres, 8 de junio de 1958), es un músico, productor y actor británico. Desde 2013 es el segundo guitarrista y cantante del grupo King Crimson. Como guitarrista y vocalista ha formado parte de numerosos grupos británicos de rock progresivo además de desarrollar su propia carrera en solitario.
Wikipedia

Comenzó en el mundo de la música en una banda llamada 64 Spoons para publicar un sólo álbum llamado "Landing on a Rat Column" en 1992, bastantes años después de ser grabado. Posteriormente, trabajó con Dave Stewart y se unió con él en la banda Rapid Eye Movement desde 1980 hasta 1981. Después pasó a trabajar con Peter Blegvad y David Jackson y se unió a la banda The Lodges en 1987 junto con John Greaves, Blegvad y otros.
En 1990, colaboró en el álbum "We Never Had It So Good" con Tim Robinson, y se unió a la banda Level 42, en la que permaneció hasta su separación en 1994. Después de dejar dicha banda, decidió sumergirse en su carrera en solitario, y editó su primer EP, llamado "Kingdom of Dust", en 1994, en el que ayudaron Richard Barbieri, Mick Karn y Steve Jansen. Un año después salió a la venta su primer disco grande, "Mustard Gas and Roses", con las colaboraciones de Karn, Jansen, Gavin Harrison, Danny Thompson, Sam Brown y BJ Cole.
En 2002 se unió a la banda 21st Century Schizoid Band junto con su suegro Michael Giles (ya que Jakszyk está casado con su hija, la modelo Amanda Giles) y es en 2006 cuadno saca este disco.
A finales de 2007, Jakko Jakszyk se unió al supergrupo The Tangent. Y bueno, luego vendría King Crimson.
Pero mejor los dejo con el comentario del Mago Alberto que es el que vale... todo un regalito de fin de año.


Disco doble solista del actual cantante y guitarrista de King Crimson, y para acompañar al petiso gruñón seguro algo bueno tiene que tener, trabajo que tiene resabios de su antigua banda Level 42 y todo el feeling y la pasión de King Crimson, y me detengo en esto último por cuanto el CD 2 lo muestra a Jakko M. Jakszyk junto a cuatro monstruos a saber: Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Ian Wallace e Ian MacDonald por supuesto todos conocidos por estar y participar alguna vez en la banda de Fripp, y aquí hacemos un paréntesis, la versión de "Islands" es realmente SUBLIME casi diría que algunos la van a considerar mejor que la original y tienen razón, es increíble como Mel Collins le supo dar otra vuelta de rosca a la canción y la llevó a un espacio que esta muy por encima de la original en especial en la parte instrumental final del tema, una versión que te deja con el cerebro hecho hilacha, el volumen 1 cuenta con la participación del enano en varios tracks y que seguro van a hacer las delicias de algun cabezón, también dejan su aire canterburyano los señores Hugh Hopper y Dave Stewart además de otras bestias acordes al género.
Un trabajo fino, elegante, climático, pero el que se lleva todos los aplausos es el CD 2 con versiones espectaculares. Islands se lleva todos los honores y casi vale por todo el resto.
Una producción distinta repleto de músicos de primer nivel, un proyecto de Jakszyk que no tiene desperdicio. Llega fin de año y el blog cabezón te deja no solo toda la sangre desparramada del Vampiro sino que nos despedimos con todos los condimentos para tu mesa de fin de año.
Mago Alberto


Y a mi me gustan esos álbums de los cuales cada uno tiene una opinión diferente, variada e incluso contradictorias entre sí, porque significa que el disco está abierto a interpretaciones y uno pone mucho contenido propio en él, y este es uno de esos casos. Aquí, una serie de comentarios en inglés donde podrán leer diferentes opiniones muy encontradas...


Welcome to one of the most obscure gems released in the last few years - courtesy of a musician who, in spite of his decades-long career and impressive curriculum, is still thought of as a sort of young whippersnapper. In fact, Jakko M. Jakszyk is almost 51 years old, and has shared a stage or a recording studio with many a revered protagonist of the progressive rock scene. Unfortunately, most of the bands he has played with over the years are of the positively obscure kind. Before he joined the 21st Schizoid Band in the role that was of Robert Fripp, Jakszyk had been little more than what in my native Italy we would term as an 'illustrious unknown', in spite of his short-lived tenure in a relatively high-profile band like Level 42.
Much like its author, "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" (released in 2006 to a lot of critical acclaim, and become unavailable soon afterwards, due to the record label going under) enjoys cult status among prog fans, though not many people have been able to listen to it. I was lucky to find a copy (at a very inviting price too, considering it is a double album) in one of the music stores I used to visit regularly when I lived in Rome. And what a great purchase indeed.. The album is an offering most dedicated prog listeners will be able to appreciate, with all the trademark features of our beloved genre, plus a healthy (though not excessive) dose of melody and accessibility. Moreover, fans of cover versions will be absolutely delighted by the contents of CD2 - a stunning collection of classics by the likes of King Crimson, Soft Machine and Henry Cow, performed by some of the stalwarts of the original Canterbury scene.
Right from its cover, a gorgeous, muted snapshot of Jakko walking on Brighton beach at sunset, "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" is a thoroughly classy package. Everything - the pictures, the detailed liner notes, the graphics, the music - is designed to appeal to listeners of sophisticated tastes, who look upon an album as a complete experience. I would not hesitate to call it a beautiful album, not only on account of the very accomplished nature of the music contained within, but also of the stories behind each of the song. Like many Canterbury albums, it has a very personal, intimate feel, as conveyed by the title itself.
From even a casual reading of the liner notes, Jakko comes across as a very sensitive, vulnerable human being, consequently bruised by life, but keeping up his optimistic side. Some of the stories attached to individual songs are very moving indeed, especially those related to his family. As many adopted children, he got to meet his real mother much later in life, not long before her untimely death. This part of his life story is the subject of the haunting instrumental "When Peggy Came Home", dedicated to the burial of his natural mother's ashes in her birthplace in Ireland; while the following song, "Highgate Hill", is centred around Jakko's own birth in a hospital in the titular area of London.
Musically speaking, the first CD features a number of songs and instrumental tracks performed by Jakszyk and a handful of high-profile guest musicians - namely Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, former Level 42 bassist Mark King, double bass legend Danny Thompson, and even His Majesty Robert Fripp. Canterbury keyboard king Dave Stewart also performs on one track ("Doxy, Dali and Duchamp"), as well as on most of CD2. Comparisons to other bands or artists are anything to easy to draw - I have read one review comparing some of the songs on "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" to David Sylvian's output, and I find myself in agreement with such a remark. Though Jakko does not have Sylvian's distinctive voice, I find his vocals are the perfect foil for the album's elegant, somewhat understated musical mood. I could also sometimes hear echoes of Jakko's current band, The Tangent, especially their more Canterbury-inspired tracks.
On the other hand, there is a distinctly jazzy feel running through the album, both in the songs and in the instrumentals. The marvellous "Catley's Ashes", driven by Mark King's pneumatic bass, is richly laced with Mel Collins' masterful saxophone; while the melancholy "The Things We Throw Away" features Jakko's long-time friend and former bandmate Lydon Connah, and the majestic "Srebrenica" is based on the traditional music of Serbia. Infused with sadness and loss, the atmospheric, rarefied "When We Go Home" (dedicated to the artist's adoptive mother, Camille) features Fripp on electric guitar, as well as Camille's own recorded voice.
All the songs are of consistent high quality, with a particular mention for the title-track and the already mentioned "Highgate Hill". Admittedly, they sometimes border on pop, but we are talking about an adult, well-rounded kind of pop, and definitely not about anything overtly easy or commercial. Jakszyk also deserves kudos for his skills as a lyrics writer, something not precisely common in the prog world. While he lays his soul bare, he hardly ever descends into mawkishness, and occasionally injects some humour in the overall wistfulness of his musings.
There is not much that can be said about CD2, if not that it is quite magnificent. The quality of the 'raw material' alone would guarantee excellent results, but what really makes these versions special is the obvious love lavished on them by both Jakko and his distinguished guests. It would be very hard for me to pick out a highlight, though the cover of Henry Cow's "The Citizen King" is nothing short of stunning, capturing the blend of wistful beauty and biting irony of the original to perfection. Jakszyk's Oriental-tinged take on King Crimson's "Pictures of a City", featuring Indian percussionist Pandit Dinesh (another former collaborator of the artist), also wins points for inventiveness; while "Islands", remarkably faithful to the original, fits perfectly within the album's stylishly melancholy atmosphere.
As I have already stated at the beginning of my review, it will be probably next to impossible for people to get hold of this album, at least for the time being. However, should you find it second hand, or in the bargain bins of some music store, do not let it escape your clutches. "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" can be easily counted as one of the best releases of the first 9 years of the new millennium, a prog album that pays homage to a glorious past, and at the same time feels thoroughly modern. With its intimate, confessional quality, and lush, tasteful music, it should appeal to most prog fans, except those who hate anything resembling melody. Four well-deserved stars, with a 'virtual' half one given out as a bonus.
Raffaella Berry

If you are Canterbury Scene fan, never heard about Jakko M. Jakszyk and are attracted by long list of ageing Canterbury/Prog stars, participated on this album, please read this review before you will pay your money for this double album.
I don't want to go deep in history, you can find it elsewhere (ok, Jakko as session musician played on Dave Stuart solo albums, etc. and one time even was touring guitarist with pop band Level 42). Most important is what we have there on this Jakko's double album. And - it's far not a Canterbury sound!
Each of two album's CDs are different: second one contains Jakko's covers of well-known prog songs from 70-s, played with star musicians from that time. If you checked Jakko's story, then you know one of his most recent project was King Crimson's tribute band "21st Schizoid Band", so he has good experience in that field. To be honest, some compositions there sound quite nice (ok, no one is better than original, or even near that), but at least you can listen some versions of songs you like played in slightly different form, often participating some great musicians. Don't think there is another reason this disc was recorded than Jakko's wish to play material he likes with some great original musicians, but at least these recordings, even if too much rounded and polished, has relations with progressive rock.
Then - there is one more disc, this time with original material. Few great names participates there as well, but it doesn't help. I don't speak about Canterbury sound, you will hardly find it even on disc two of this album. But music on disc one varies from pop-rock to just pop, and Level 42 comes to mind very soon.
So, having this double album you will be able always to choose what you like to listen first - short CD with prog covers or long one with pop songs. Now you're ready - make your decision.
Ah, yes -almost forgot: there is one more relation between Jakko and Canterbury sound. He married Michael Giles ' (one of early King Crimson member) daughter Amanda!
Slava Gliozeris

Jakko is perhaps best know among Prog fans for his involvement with 21ST CENTURTY SCHIZOID BAND, although he did play on THE TANGENT's "Not As Good As The Book". Then again Jakko has played guitar and sung on a lot of albums over the years. This solo work is a double album with the first disc being songs about his life, while the shorter (around 35 minutes) second disc are covers of songs that were the soundtrack to his life. His three favourite bands were SOFT MACHINE, HENRY COW and KING CRIMSON so we get covers of songs from those bands on dic two. We get a who's who of UK Prog musicians helping him out including Fripp, Hopper, Harrison (Gavin), Giles, MacDonald, Wallace, Brooks (Clive), Collins (Mel), Stewart (Dave) etc. As Snobb mentions in his review this isn't really Canterbury music but rather a collection of songs where the lyrics take the spotlight. Not that there isn't some outstanding instrumental music here because there is, it's just that the lyrics take precedent. So it's a hit and miss recording for me.
I'm so impressed with some of this while at other times the opposite is true.The packaging and liner notes are very well done, very detailed.This album has garnered a lot of critical acclaim and i'm glad I own it, but for now 3 stars is all I can muster. I have to mention as well that there is quite a bit of mellotron on this disc along with many other instruments. Oh yeah I have to mention that PORCUPINE TREE's Richard Barbieri's wife Suzanne adds some vocals on one track. Remember she did the same on "Up The Downstair" way back when.
Jon Davie

Well, I finally found a copy, using that global detective Dick Trace the Internet to full effect and I am glad to report that the hunt was well worth the patience, the despair and ultimately the chase. As my dearest colleague Raff has so succinctly phrased in her effusive review, this is one of those personal little unknown ditties that will charm the pants off some unexpectant fan, in my case similar to my deep felt adoration of John G. Perry's 2 stupendous solo albums Sunset Wading and Seabird. It's just one of those ethereal enigmas that boggle the mind, no logic, just a kindred spirit that hits some invisible mark in one's musical psyche. Now she has very nicely detailed this prolific studio /session artist's career, so we won't enter the throes of repetition but what does need some recall is the simple surreal cast of iconic players that grace the grooves here and who provide clear understanding of why they are so incredible. Case in point Gavin Harrison's superlative drumming (we all know how blessed Porcupine Tree are with him behind the kit, anyone seeing him live will nod in complete agreement), well lets just say he is bloody brilliant. Next up, the legendary Mel Collins needs no introduction, easily Britain's most renowned prog sax player with all due respect to the late Elton Dean. He sizzles here as per his usual self. Now, throw in such stalwarts as Mark King of Level 42 fame (when Holdsworth was on board, they were awesome), Canterbury icon Dave Stewart on keys and the famed double bassist Danny Thompson , you know this will be special. As if that wasn't enough, names such as recently departed Ian Wallace and Hugh Hopper, fretless bassist John Giblin and stickman Nick Beggs as well as cellist Caroline Lavelle, drumster Clive Brooks, flautist Ian McDonald, saxist Gary Barnacle and percussist Pandit Dinesh adorn the 2 discs Jakko has proffered. Yes, this is very eclectic Brit prog with hints at that intelligent/adult pop the islanders seem so adapt at dishing out. Just great listening music, full of life and gusto, obviously played with deep affection (glee?) and complete mastery. Of course Robert Fripp could not resist adding his 2 cents worth, anointing this 2 CD project with a little dab of "rouge royalty"! Highlights are many, certainly not everyone's cup of tea, this is one of those extremist albums which in my opinion (shared with quite a few and opposed by many) is what makes this precisely so ?..let me find the apt word? precious! That some of my colleagues doubt the prog elements here is beyond my understanding, as the ultimate modus operandi to find out if something is really prog, remains the candlelit room , the glass of fine wine , a comfortable chair and letting the music flow around you, unchallenged by any outside interference. I love this stuff, correctly very near The Tangent (Jakko infused the brilliant "Not as Good as the Book" album with this style, Tillison's best work yet IMHO). This is just gorgeous music, uncontrived, highly personal, deeply evocative, profoundly honest and heartfelt , period! The added bonuses of delightful packaging, scintillating covers of KC classics "Pictures of a City" and "Islands" and mostly, the scarcity of the release itself gives it a treasure status in my eyes and leaves me no choice than a full ***** here. Please more like this . 5 sandy grey beaches Thanks Raff, it took awhile but I got it done
Thomas Szirmay

To write the complete story of this overlooked British musician in a few lines is just impossible.Jakko M. Jakszyk was born in London and in 1958 and started his career with the promising group 64 Spoons in late-70's.During the next two decades Jakszyk tried to list up his career either through sparse solo efforts (sometimes simply refered as Jakko) or through several group appearances like in The Lodge, Level 42 or Dizrhythmia.He became wider known as a member of the King Crimson tribute act 21st Century Schizoid Band in 2002 and in 2006 he returned with his more accomplished solo album ''The Bruised Romantic Glee Club'' released on IcenI label.
A very ambitious 2CD release, which nicely sums up Jakszyk's various influences, and includes guest appearances be several huge names of the Progressive/Art Rock scene like Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, Ian Wallace, Robert Fripp, Hugh Hopper, Dave Stewart or Ian MacDonald among others.Through the years Jakszyk built great friendships with plenty of important musicians of the British/Canterbury school of Prog, eventually determining his overall style of songwriting and composing.And ''The Bruised Romantic Glee Club'' is a nice document of his career and music background, containing elements from Singer/Somgwriter styles, Canterbury Prog, British Prog, Art Rock and Jazz Fusion.Some pieces are just romantic singing ballads, performed with a deeply artistic mood, others are closer to KING CRIMSON or even VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR from their various, different era's, containing plenty of sax improvisations and solos, crunchy guitars, smooth Mellotrons and even good interplays.A fair part of the album though is dedicated to somekind of BRUDFORD-ian Fusion with an evident Canterbury edge sometimes with sharp but melodic guitars, deep bass lines and superb drumming by Gavin Harisson.Among these progressive tunes Jakszyk cleverly added some mellow instrumental pieces with strong Classical and Jazz references, containing among others soft pianos, strings, synths or saxes.
Regard this one as the personal trip of Jakko M. Jakszyk though the years, a lovely introduction to British Prog through the ages, having strong vintage and contemporary echoes.And while this album is not a masterpiece, it will definitely satisfy a very wide audience of listeners with different tastes.Warmly recommended.
apps79

A 21st Century Schizoid Man
I first became aware of multi-instrumentalist Jakko M. Jakszyk through his involvement with ex-King Crimson members in the brilliant 21st Century Schizoid Band in which Jakko was the lead vocalist and guitarist. Some of his mates from that band in Ian MacDonald, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace are also participating in this solo album as well as Robert Fripp. One of the songs featured on this album, the very nice instrumental Catley's Ashes, was previously performed with the 21st Century Schizoid Band as can be heard on their fantastic live album Pictures Of A City - Live In New York.
The Bruised Romantic Glee Club is an eclectic set of songs and instrumentals of generally good quality. The sounds are occasionally jazzy, occasionally folky. The presence of Dave Stewart from Hatfield & The North and Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper might explain why this has ended up under Canterbury Scene even though the music it is not generally in that style. Trying to find relevant comparisons, Colin Bass' An Outcast Of The Islands album and Hogarth-era Marillion came to my mind. Jakko is a good singer and writer as well as a great guitar player. Occasionally his guitar sound reminds me of that of Allan Holdsworth. The mellow, jazzy The Things We Throw Away reminded me of the style of Steve Morse.
The main album feature Jakszyk originals while the bonus disc features various cover versions including two King Crimson songs. Pictures Of An Indian City is Crimson's Pictures Of A City done with strong influences of traditional Indian music and it is thus very different from the original. The other King Crimson number is Islands which is very nicely adapted by Jakko. I wasn't previously familiar with the other songs being covered here, but they are generally good songs. I enjoyed this album.
Fritz-Anton

I really want to love this album, and I'll surely give it the effort it deserves, but I found the first disc fairly bland. The songwriting is just not that strong. There is a sameness to the songs (execution- wise) and none are particularly memorable. I'm also not a big fan of the 80's (or is it 90's?) sound of the instruments. Though technically proficient, some of these musicians seem to lack the poetic intangibles that these emotional songs deserve, and thus they (the songs) sound somewhat antiseptic.
If Jakko stuck with Brooks, Collins, MacDonald and Stewart for instance, I think the songs would have been given more room to stand on their own, so to speak. But I also realize that I am biased toward a more classic sound, so read this review with that in mind.
The second disc is like manna to my ears (mixed metaphor?)! The only improvement would have been to use vintage instruments exclusively. The Cow renditions, particularly Citizen King, are reason enough to purchase this disc. As Long As He Lies...however, is the crown jewel in this release - a beautiful, faithful rendition of a sublime tune which has always existed in murky sonics. Thank you, Jakko, and for this I round up to 3 stars.
muddymouth

Anything that has members of Level 42, King Crimson and Egg collaborating together is, to be honest, a very amazing thing. Touching everything from jazz-fusion to psychedelia to the ever interesting and immersive Canterbury Scene, Mr. Jakszyk's "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" is one of those rare extravagenzas that should be more known about and appreciated than it actually is, because there is an intimacy and chemistry here that you won't find often.
A double album, with side one being originals and side 2 being covers of bands that Jakko admires, 'Glee Club' has quite a few high points on both sides of the coin. Tracks like 'When We Go Home" and "The Things We Throw Away" are appropriately emotional and make very fine use of Jakko Jakszyk's unusually accomplished vocal abilities, while his covering of King Crimson's 'Islands' (which features Fripp himself) is apt and intimate in all the right places. Frequent use of sax, woodwinds and piano flesh out some of the more cinematic touches here and there, while Jakko's distinctive guitar stylings brush in and out to keep the compositions focused and energized when needed.
Basically, while I often consider collaborations overrated and rarely resulting in material that hits the mark more than these artists are capable of doing on their own, the ensemble that Mr. Jakszyk assembled here has worked wonders with material that could have possibly fallen on its face otherwise, and hence I recommend this with little complaint to anyone looking for something good to add to their prog. collection.
So yeah...five stars and a big thumbs up from the Ant-man!
Anteater

He's been around for three decades, but British guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jakko M. Jakszyk has operated below the radar for the most part. His biggest break in visibility was touring with Level 42 in the early 1990s, but in recent years he's better-known as the guitarist/vocalist for the 21st Century Schizoid Band, a collective of King Crimson alumni who have revived material from that band's early years. He's also recorded material as a leader, but much of it remains unreleased, making The Bruised Romantic Glee Club, his first proper solo album, well worth the wait.
While being in 21CSB requires him to be inherently Fripp-centric, Jakszyk grew up in England a fan of other progressive bands including Soft Machine, Hatfield and the North and Henry Cow. His songwriting and playing clearly reflect those influences, but the second disc of this two-disc set pays direct homage, where he covers material by Crimson, Henry Cow and Soft Machine. Jakszyk also enlists a who's who of the British progressive scene, including Robert Fripp and Hugh Hopper, along with 21CSB-mates Ian MacDonald, Mel Collins and Ian Wallace. Perhaps most significant is Jakszyk's recruitment of ex-Hatfield keyboardist Dave Stewart for over a third of the tracks, despite Stewart's determined avoidance of the trappings of progressive rock for many years.
The first disc focuses on Jakszyk's own writing—a series of largely autobiographical songs whose complexity and diverse instrumentation place them firmly in the progressive camp, but with a refreshing pop sensibility and utter lack of pretension. Jakszyk's voice conveys deeply felt emotions without resorting to extravagance or melodrama. The arrangements are detailed, but not at the expense of a melodism that reflects Jakszyk's longstanding interest and occasional participation in the Canterbury scene.
Jakszyk's guitar work on this disc is even more impressive than his playing with 21CSB, because here he reveals more of himself. There are elements of Fripp, Allan Holdsworth and even a touch of Phil Miller, but all subsumed in an approach that leans towards greater overall lyricism. He's a virtuosic player, capable of ranging from the powerful intensity of "Catley's Ashes" to the David Sylvian-like ambience of "When We Go Home."
While "Pictures of an Indian City," his Indian-inflected take on King Crimson's "Pictures of a City," is a little too clever for its own good, the rest of the cover material is surprisingly strong. Reverent but more polished than its source, Jakszyk reworks Fred Frith's "Nirvana for Mice," replacing horns with layers of guitars. Hearing Stewart tackle Soft Machine's "As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still" makes one wish he'd get back in the game.
Despite its bevy of guests, Jakszyk's multilayered multi-instrumentalism keeps The Bruised Romantic Glee Club firmly focused. That we're the sum total of our experiences is a given, but by blending his own work with interpretations of seminal influences, Jakszyk demonstrates how he has reached where he is today, in the clearest of terms.
John Kelman

You've no doubt read reviews that essentially give an album a "thumbs down" not because the record in question is inherently "bad," but because, in the reviewer's opinion, the styles on display just don't go well together. If you tend to get nitpicky about incongruous musical juxtapositions -- and in particular if you are a fan of avant-prog but not prog rock of a more commercial bent -- then you might have a few problems with The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by guitarist, composer, and singer Jakko M. Jakszyk. Not that he does anything badly -- in fact, Jakszyk is clearly capable of some fine music, and he sure has some impressive friends. But this two-CD set sounds rather like two very different albums cobbled together, as Jakszyk basically admits in the liner notes. Jakko says he had originally envisioned his album as "largely instrumental with a couple of songs thrown in," but then life events -- including his father's death -- intervened, leading Jakszyk to explore "some uncomfortable corners of the past" through song. And here's where the reviewer is placed at a disadvantage: it can appear callous to respond coolly to expressions of heartfelt emotion related to adoption, the search for one's birth mother, and the death of a parent -- the inspirations here for such Jakszyk songs as "Highgate Hill" and "Forgiving." Being a naysayer about songs like these is a bit like voting against Gandhi at the 1982 Academy Awards -- how do you vote against a movie whose subject is Gandhi, eh? Well, sorry, but the meaningful original songs on the first disc of The Bruised Romantic Glee Club do fit rather poorly with the covers of '60s and '70s art rock classics on the rather short (35-plus-minute) second disc, vintage numbers from King Crimson, Soft Machine, and Henry Cow, performed with help from such cult figures as Dave Stewart, Hugh Hopper, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace (Robert Fripp and Ian MacDonald show up on the first CD).
In a clear case of the tail wagging the dog, the all-covers disc might very well be the most interesting stuff here for the type of listeners Jakszyk seems interested in attracting in the first place -- so the second disc is likely to hit the player first. And right off the bat, Stewart (just like during his own good old days) does his best Ratledge on "As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still" from Soft Machine's Volume Two. King Crimson's "Pictures of a City" is transmogrified into "Pictures of an Indian City" (thankfully Jakszyk went the In the Wake of Poseidon route instead of attempting something along the lines of "21st Century Sanskrit Man") and emerges as an overall highlight, complete with all the requisite tight ensemble passages but now featuring Pandit Dinesh on tabla and Jakszyk on "sitar guitars." Henry Cow's "Nirvana for Mice" includes all the tricky parts a Leg End fan could hope for, thanks to Stewart's programming, and Jakko's David Torn-ish guitar is impressive in a new middle section, although Gavin Harrison's drumming (noted in the liners as being in 21/8) could, as elsewhere across both discs, benefit from a lighter touch. Thankfully, King Crimson drummer Ian Wallace brings just the level of subtlety many of the other tracks lack in a reworking of the title track from Islands, featuring Mel Collins on beautiful soprano sax where Marc Charig soloed on the original -- this actually improves on the Crimso version, and there is genuine poignancy when one realizes that "Islands" is one of the late Wallace's final recorded performances. The first disc is not without its pleasures that would have fit nicely on the second, particularly the instrumental "Catley's Ashes," with its intricate arrangement of saxes and guitars over a cruising 7/8 rhythm; it is reminiscent of "Mederno Ballabile," a killer tune from Italian avant-prog band Picchio dal Pozzo's Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi, which itself sounds like a warped mix of Zappa and Hatfield and the North. The mood turns a bit toward new age in the somewhat overly embellished piano/acoustic guitar instrumental "The Things We Throw Away," which has its lovely aspects particularly when viewed through the Canterbury-esque prism of a tune like Alan Gowen's "Arriving Twice" as performed by Gilgamesh or National Health. But elsewhere the influences -- echoes of David Sylvian and Peter Gabriel, for example -- are more polished and slickly "atmospheric" than any material Jakszyk might draw from Volume Two, Poseidon, and Leg End. Ultimately, Henry Cow's "The Citizen King" and Jakko's "When We Go Home" really are from different musical universes. But rather than give The Bruised Romantic Glee Club a thumbs down, let's just diagnose a case of split-personality disorder. After all, its bruised heart is in the right place. Not unlike Gandhi, perhaps.
Dave Lynch

Guitarist Jakko Jakszyk has finally come into his own with his current solo recording. After stints with Level 42, Dizrhythmia, and 21st Century Schizoid Band and numerous guest spots, the singer-songwriter has finally found a clever vehicle to mesh his love of dinosaur prog and crafted pop much in the mode of the late Kevin Gilbert (Giraffe, Toy Matinee). Two discs of new thought-out/well-conceived and polished rock are included in this set with prominent contributions from old friends such as drummer Gavin Harrison (now in Porcupine Tree), keyboardist Dave Stewart (Ex-Hatfield, National Health) and Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel) and the late Ian Wallace. Disc one (“Now”) at times covers ground closer to current Spock’s Beard or less heavy edged Porcupine Tree. The original version of “Catley’s Ashes” which was performed by 21st CSB shows the guitarist mastering a direction for strong new material outside of the prog umbrella so to speak. “No One Left to Lie To” is purely the artist coming to terms with family loss and an excellent sax back tracking.
Disc Two is entitled “Then,” which serves as an insight into the inspirations and challenges for the artist with covers of Crimson, Soft Machine and two Henry Cow songs (shock!). Jakko’s arrangements of early Fripp/Sinfield material are especially on target; the deep Indian dervish version of “Pictures of an Indian City” is essentially a Dizrhythmia reunion of sorts. Coral sitar guitar is interlaced with tabla and traditional Indian scat vocal to create a blistering almost inside practical joke of the piece. The best surprise is clearly the rework of “As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still” which had previously been buried on a rare Voiceprint compilation. Now it’s in its proper place and almost serves as an Egg reunion with Hugh Hopper and drummer Clive Brooks banging away with a monstrous organ accompaniment from Stewart. Currently Jakko has joined Guy Manning’s “The Tangent” for sessions on the band’s fourth studio recordings so much more is in store for this talent with many irons in the fire.
Jeff Melton

After my review of the groundbreaking yet controversial debut by The Mars Volta, here is another album released during the first decade of the 21st century – though a vastly different one. This is one of the hidden progressive rock gems of recent years, courtesy of a musician who, in spite of his decades-long career and impressive curriculum, is still nowhere close to becoming a household name. In fact, while Jakko M. Jakszyk is in his early fifties, and has shared a stage or a recording studio with many a revered protagonist of the prog scene, most of the bands he has played with over the years are of the positively obscure kind. Before he joined the 21st Schizoid Band in the role that was of Robert Fripp, Jakszyk had been little more than what in my native Italy we would term as an ‘illustrious unknown’, in spite of his short-lived tenure in a relatively high-profile band like Level 42.
Much like its author, “The Bruised Romantic Glee Club” (released in 2006 to a lot of critical acclaim, and become unavailable soon afterwards, due to the record label going under) enjoys cult status among prog fans, though not many people have been able to listen to it. I was lucky to find a copy (at an almost bargain price for a double album) in one of the music stores I used to visit regularly when I lived in Rome. And what a great purchase! This is an album that most dedicated prog listeners will appreciate, with all the trademark features of our favourite genre, plus a healthy dose of melody and accessibility. Fans of cover versions will also be absolutely delighted by the contents of CD2 – a splendid collection of classics by the likes of King Crimson, Soft Machine and Henry Cow, performed by some of the stalwarts of the original Canterbury scene.
Right from its cover, a gorgeous, muted snapshot of Jakko walking on Brighton beach at sunset, “The Bruised Romantic Glee Club” is a thoroughly classy package. Everything – the pictures, the detailed liner notes, the graphics, the music – is designed to appeal to listeners of sophisticated tastes, who look upon an album as a complete experience. I would not hesitate to call it a beautiful album in the true sense of the word – not only on account of the very accomplished nature of the music contained within, but also of the stories behind each of the songs.
From even a casual reading of the liner notes, Jakko comes across as a very sensitive, vulnerable human being, consequently bruised by life, but keeping up his optimistic side. Some of the stories attached to individual songs are very moving indeed, especially those related to his family. As many adopted children, he got to meet his real mother much later in life, not long before her untimely death. This part of his life story is the subject of the haunting, Celtic-tinged instrumental “When Peggy Came Home”, dedicated to the burial of his natural mother’s ashes in her birthplace in Ireland; while the following song, “Highgate Hill”, reminisces about Jakko’s own birth in a hospital in the titular area of northern London.
Musically speaking, the first CD features a number of songs and instrumental tracks performed by Jakszyk and a handful of high-profile guest musicians – namely Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, former Level 42 bassist Mark King (a well-respected four-stringer), double bass legend Danny Thompson, and even His Majesty Robert Fripp himself. Canterbury keyboard king Dave Stewart also performs on one track (“Doxy, Dali and Duchamp”), as well as on most of CD2. Comparisons to other bands or artists are anything but easy to draw – I have read one review comparing some of the songs on “The Bruised Romantic Glee Club” to David Sylvian’s output, and I find myself in agreement with such a remark. Though Jakko does not have Sylvian’s distinctive, world-weary voice, I find his vocals are the perfect foil for the album’s elegant, somewhat understated musical mood.
On the other hand, there is a distinctly jazzy feel running through the album. The marvellous “Catley’s Ashes”, driven by Mark King’s pneumatic bass, is richly laced with Mel Collins’ masterful saxophone; while the melancholy “The Things We Throw Away” features Jakko’s long-time friend and former bandmate Lydon Connah, and the majestic “Srebrenica” is based on the traditional music of Serbia. Infused with sadness and loss, the atmospheric, rarefied “When We Go Home” (dedicated to the artist’s adoptive mother, Camille) features Fripp on electric guitar, as well as Camille’s own recorded voice.
All the songs are of consistent high quality, with a particular mention for the title-track and the already mentioned “Highgate Hill”. Admittedly, they sometimes border on pop, though in an adult, well-rounded kind of way, and definitely not an overtly easy or commercial one. Jakszyk also deserves kudos for his skills as a lyricist, something not precisely common in the prog world. While he lays his soul bare, he hardly ever descends into mawkishness, and occasionally injects some humour in the overall wistfulness of his musings.
There is not much that can be said about CD2, if not that it is quite magnificent. The quality of the ‘raw material’ alone would guarantee excellent results, but what really makes these versions special is the obvious love lavished on them by both Jakko and his distinguished guests. It would be very hard for me to pick out a highlight, though the cover of Henry Cow’s “The Citizen King” is nothing short of stunning, capturing the blend of wistful beauty and biting irony of the original to perfection. Jakszyk’s Oriental-tinged take on King Crimson’s “Pictures of a City”, featuring Indian percussionist Pandit Dinesh (another former collaborator of the artist), also wins points for inventiveness; while “Islands”, remarkably faithful to the original, fits perfectly within the album’s stylishly melancholy atmosphere.
As previously pointed out, up to a couple of years ago or so, “The Bruised Romantic Glee Club” was, to all intents and purposes, impossible to find. Now it has been reissued, which is great news with anyone whose curiosity will be whetted by this review – as it can be easily counted as one of the best releases of the past decade, a progressive rock album that pays homage to a glorious past, and at the same time feels thoroughly modern. With its intimate, confessional quality, and lush, sophisticated music, it is highly recommended to most prog fans, especially those who appreciate beautiful melodies coupled with flawless instrumental performances.
progmistress



Para cerrar, dejo un video con el King Crimson donde participa este señor Jakko...




2 comentarios:

  1. Hola Pueden pasar el link para los downloads, gracias rockngolradio@gmail.com

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    1. Lancelot, no pasamos links poro correo y en el blog no compartmos discos sin el consentimiento de los mùsicos.
      Si quieres algo màs de lo que hay publicado aquí, deberías suscribirte a la lista de correo, y desde un mail de gmail o yahoo (no de Microsoft tipo Live, Outlook o Hotmail porque rechazan los mensajes de la lista).

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