The Crimson Jazz Trio: The King Crimson Songbook, Vol. One

The Crimson Jazz Trio’s lineup of pianist Jody Nardone, bassist Tim Landers and drummer Ian Wallace has been careful not to distort King Crimson’s melodies, but they do lots of tinkering, restructuring and harmonic adjustments on Songbook. Songs like “21st Century Schizoid Man,” “Catfood,” “Red” and “Ladies of the Road” are easily recognizable during the trio’s opening passages, then Nardone executes catchy, quirky solos ably embellished by the interplay of Landers and Wallace.

While Nardone’s the main soloist, Wallace’s control of the pace is equally vital to the trio’s success; his bombastic power and percussive authority proves the prime extra ingredient. Landers divides his time between complementing Wallace and providing alternate directions for Nardone.

The Crimson Jazz Trio’s reconfigurations should inspire longtime King Crimson lovers to revisit the original versions of the likes of “Three of a Perfect Pair” and “Starless.” They will find that the Crimson Jazz Trio has not just celebrated but enhanced King Crimson’s compositions.