Time will tell whether A Scarcity of Miracles winds up morphing into the next incarnation of King Crimson. For now, this collaboration between Robert Fripp (guitar, soundscapes), Mel Collins (sax, flute), Jakku Jakszyk (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Tony Levin (bass, Chapman Stick), and Gavin Harrison (drums) remains part of the 'ProjeKct' series, and it's a damn good one. King Crimson has needed a little spark of something new for a while, and this collection of musicians just might be what the doctor ordered.
Collins last played with Crimson back in the early 70's, but his lovely sax & flute melodies settle in quite nicely once again next to Fripp's guitar lines & soundscapes on the opening title track. Jakszyk has a wonderful voice, and he's no slouch either on the guitar, as he also slips right in here and makes himself at home. The intoxicating "The Price We Pay" has a breezy, jazzy pop feel, with lush guitars and soaring sax providing the backdrop for Jakszyk's poignant vocals, and both guitar players contribute bubbling solos as well. "Secrets" has a jazzy/proggy air about it, with whispy sax, ominous soundscapes, and legato lead guitar lines, and "This House" is full of atmosphere and dreamy, often times jazzy currents of sound. The band goes for a slightly more aggressive, prog rock vibe on the dark "The Other Man", complete with some tricky drum work from Harrison and Levin's gymnastic Chapman Stick grooves. Closer "The Light of Day" is another tranquil, atmospheric number with plenty of jazz & prog elements, and again shows the spectacular vocal style of Jakko and Collins' soaring sax explorations. Fripp's menacing guitar lines near the end are simply jaw dropping.
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.
1. A Scarcity Of Miracles (7.27)
2. The Price We Pay (4.49)
3. Secrets (7.48)
4. This House (8.37)
5. The Other Man (5.59)
6. The Light Of Day (9.02)