Founder of the seminal progressive-rock band King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp employs his legendary Frippertronics effects with formidable saxophonist Theo Travis on this resonating live release culled from a performance at the Coventry Cathedral in the U.K. Travis' work with the Soft Machine Legacy instills a deep-rooted sense of British progressive-rock colonialism while teaming with the fabled and undeniably influential guitarist. And his escalating stature within jazz and rock vistas has served him well amid numerous first-call session gigs and solo endeavors. Here, the duo parlays a rather sanctified realm of musical notions.
With the spiritual ambiance of the cathedral residing as an additional instrument, the musicians forge a peaceful environ via highs, lows and quietude. However, Fripp occasionally intersperses his broad musical soundstage with distortion-laced guitar lines, flecked with stinging notes. Featuring eerie, mysterious and spiritual overtones, the program is charming, edgy and melancholic.
On “Duet for the End of Time,” Fripp’s sweeping EFX textures summon an expansive plane, comprised of rolling waves. And they jazz it up during “The Offering,” thanks to Travis’ sonorous improvisational developments on sax. However, the duo’s abstract on Fripp’s classic piece “Moonchild,” which appeared on King Crimson’s groundbreaking 1969 album The Court of the Crimson King, is designed with subliminal hints of the primary melody. Moreover, Travis’ whispery flute phrasings are a perfect foil for Fripp’s ever-so-delicate chord constructions. In effect, they turn the ballad into an understated ethereal dreamscape.
This beautifully recorded live recording suggests that you may be able to hear a pin drop. A mark of distinction envelops these nine emotionally-charged works. Travis and Fripp launch a framework that gently or sometimes fiercely insinuate a profusion of thought-provoking streams of consciousness, all executed with the verve of master musicians injecting realism through the lens of art.