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A Scarcity of Miracles is the lone album (to date) by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins, released in 2011. It united singer-songwriter and guitarist Jakko Jakszyk with two musicians best known at the time as King Crimson members, Robert Fripp and Mel Collins. Rhythmic support came from two more King Crimson musicians - bass/Chapman Stick player Tony Levin and drummer Gavin Harrison).

A Scarcity of Miracles
A Scarcity of Miracles.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 30, 2011
Genre
Length42:22
LabelDiscipline Global Mobile
ProducerRobert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
All About Jazzpositive[1]
PopMatterspositive[2]

Presented as "a King Crimson ProjeKct" (or spin-off), the album can also be seen as a conceptual blueprint for the revived and revised King Crimson which returned to active duty in 2013.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Originally the frontman for eccentric English progressive pop band 64 Spoons, Jakko Jakszyk had previously had an intermittent solo career as well as putting in a stint as guitarist for Level 42, leading the one-off Dizrhythmia project and working with a variety of musicians including Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, Swing Out Sister, Jansen Barbieri Karn and Tom Robinson. Between 2002 and 2007, he fronted, sang for and played guitar for 21st Century Schizoid Band, a project set up to reunite King Crimson members from the 1960s and 1970s lineups of the band and to play the band's music from that period. This brought him closer into the King Crimson circle, as did his 2006 solo album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club which included contributions from various King Crimson members as well as bonus covers of two tracks by the band.

The basis for A Scarcity of Miracles album came from guitar improvisations recorded by Jakszyk and Fripp in Wiltshire, England with no particular intention of recording an album.[3] With Fripp's agreement, Jakszyk took the resulting recordings and reworked them as songs. Collins (a frequent Jakszyk collaborator) subsequently "heard unplayed sax waiting to be given voice" and joined the developing project.[3] With the majority of music now recast as songs, an album took shape. Levin and Harrison (the latter a longstanding Jakszyk friend and collaborator) subsequently recorded the rhythm tracks.[4]

Reviewing A Scarcity of Miracles in All About Jazz, John Kelman commented that "it may lack the sharp corners, jagged edged and harder surfaces of latter-day Crimson, and there's none of the overt symphonic prog of early Crim, but Jakszyk's refined vocals, soft-spoken playing and haunting songwriting, Fripp's searing lines and orchestral soundscaping, and Collins' soaring melodies make for the best group record—Crimson or no—to come from the Fripp camp in nearly thirty years."[5]

With A Scarcity of Miracles tagged as "a King Crimson ProjeKct", speculation arose that it might be the basis of the next lineup of King Crimson (the main band itself having been on hiatus since 2008, and having used the ProjeKcts as research and development work since 1999). Like the covers of many King Crimson albums produced by Discipline Global Mobile, the cover of A Scarcity of Miracles featured a painting by P J Crook, providing an additional conceptual link.

At the time, Fripp himself gently denied and clarified the project's position by describing the record as "one of my favourite albums of those where I am a determining element. It has the Crimson gene, but it is not quite KC."[4] However, when a new seven-person line-up of King Crimson was announced in September 2013, it consisted of all five musicians involved in the album plus longtime Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto and a new drummer/keyboard player, Bill Rieflin. This lineup has gone on to be the longest continuous one in King Crimson history (adding Jeremy Stacey in 2016), and have retained a couple of ...Miracles... pieces as part of their live set (the title track and 'The Light of Day').

Track listingEdit

  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)

PersonnelEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kelman, John (27 May 2011). "Jakszyk, Fripp & Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles". allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ Kozar, Ron (23 March 2012). "Robert Fripp: An Appreciation | PopMatters". popmatters.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b Sleevenotes from A Scarcity of Miracles, Panegyric 2011
  4. ^ a b Burning Shed page for A Scarcity of Miracles
  5. ^ Kelman, John (27 May 2011). "Jakszyk, Fripp & Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles". allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 26 August 2013.