Jakko M. Jakszyk

guitarist, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music producer

guitarist, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and music producer

  • A Scarcity of Miracles

    Posted on by Jakko

    Jakko's new album

    the debut release from (Jakko) Jakszyk, (Robert) Fripp, and (Mel) Collins

  • Reflections i

    Posted on by Jakko

    So. Yesterday Afternoon, amidst the sweltering heat of Silesia Sound (Air con needs fixing) Whilst desperately trying to finalise the last document prior to the appeal for our son’s school next week, in between attempts at finishing a demo for an Africa tampon commercial (trust me, I’m not making this up) there’s a light knock on the door and In walks a smiling Robert Fripp. A highly unusual, unannounced, surprise visit. Checking on the building work during a break in Discipline 5.1 at Wilson HQ just up the road.
    “So what are you working on at the moment Jakko?”

  • Waves Sweep The Sand: a review by John Kelman at All About Jazz

    Posted on by Jakko

    It’s rare that an album of outtakes and rejected music not only succeeds, but actually hangs together as a cohesive work in its own right. As the only member of 21st Century Schizoid Band (performing late-1960s/early-1970s-era Crimson repertoire) who wasn’t a King Crimson alum, Jakko M. Jakszyk not only handled the daunting challenge of Crimson co-founder Robert Fripp’s guitar parts, but lead vocals as well. Jakszyk emerged as a confident and compelling leader on The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (Iceni, 2006), a double-disc set filled with autobiographical confessions of a progressive bent, and imaginative tributes to seminal groups from Jakszyk’s formative years. With Bruised now back in print with a remixed title track, the independently released Waves Sweep the Sand collects fifteen original songs and two covers, with Jakszyk’s liners positioning the material against Bruised.

    Familiarity with Bruised may be an advantage, but it’s absolutely unnecessary in order to enjoy Waves which, with Jakszyk’s careful sequencing, remains a compelling and independent piece of work. Unlike Bruised’s bevy of guests including Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, Level 42 bassist Mark King, ex-Hatfield and the North keyboardist Dave Stewart and King Crimson/21stCSB alum Ian MacDonald, Mel Collins—Robert Fripp, even—Waves is largely all Jakszyk, which means everything from guitars and bass to keyboards, programming, vocals, and more. Harrison crops up on a couple tracks, as does recently deceased Crimson drummer Ian Wallace, who released two intriguing albums of King Crimson jazz covers with the Crimson Jazz Trio including King Crimson Songbook Volume Two (Inner Knot/Panegyric, 2009).

    They provide organic rhythms to the ambling instrumental, “Christmas in Krakow” and knottier funk of “Kevin Costners Golf Course.” But even on tracks like “Alien Lights in Iberian Skies,” where the percussion is programmed, the music feels surprisingly natural and breathes with the kind of space that normally only comes from a group performance, and is rarely felt on music created by a single player and a multitude of overdubbed layers. As a guitarist, Jakszyk brings together the best of his many influences, two dominant ones being fusion icon Allan Holdsworth and, of course, Robert Fripp.

    But Jakszyk’s pop sensibilities are stronger than either, and the omission of his cover of Bread’s “London Bridge” from Bruised—which would have resulted in the only album likely to have ever covered Bread and Henry Cow together—is rectified here, as Jakszyk makes the song both better than the original and undeniably his own, sonically feeling kith and kin with Bruised’s progressive vocal tracks. Instrumental tracks including a rework of George Martin’s “Theme One”—made most famous, perhaps, by Van Der Graaf Generator, but here reinvented with a drum loop and countless layers of guitar—intersperse with progressive pop like “Upside Down Again” to make Waves Sweep the Sand a second compelling album from an artist who, thirty years later, seems headed for the greater acclaim he’s deserved all along. An adjunct to The Bruised Romantic Glee Club? Maybe so; but equally, an album with its own distinctive charm, well deserving of consideration on its own merits.

  • Waves Sweep The Sand: DPRP review

    Posted on by Jakko

    Anyone who purchased the DPRP recommended album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club will be delighted to know that a companion album, Waves Sweep The Sand, has just been released. A collection of 17 songs and instrumentals that are all related to, or were intended for the original album but were, for one reason or another (generally because they didn’t quite seem to fit) omitted from the final running order. A number of pieces were also originally recorded for an uncompleted instrumental album. However, this is not a motley collection of outtakes jumbled together in an attempt to bring in a few extra pennies as each of the tracks is of a very high quality.

    Considering that most were left off Glee Club because they affected the flow, the album hangs together very well and seems to have its own internal consistency and natural flow of its own. The majority of the performance is by Jakszyk alone although saxophonist Gary Barnacle and drummers Gavin Harrison and Ian Wallace perform on a track apiece with Harrison also providing drum loops to another.

    As with Glee Club, there are too many tracks to deal with each individually, particularly as there is such a wide scope contained within the 17 pieces. A couple of cover versions are included, the first of which is an excellent version of Bread’s London Bridge, the sleeve notes detailing how it came to be included being particularly amusing. Jakszyk has added a new instrumental coda to the song, David Gates In Whitley Bay, the title of which is explained in the notes (for any readers who are not familiar with Bread, David Gates was their leader and principal songwriter).

    The other cover is Sir George Martin’s Theme One, a piece of music that used to herald the end of the day’s broadcast on BBC Radio 1. There have been several notable cover versions of this piece over the years by artists such as Cozy Powell and Bigelf, but it is arguably the most famous one (also used by Radio 1 as the theme music to the Friday Rock Show) by Van Der Graaf Generator that Jakszyk uses as the template to his recording. Vocals are only included on two other songs besides London Bridge, which is no reflection of Jakszyk’s fine singing voice.

    Upside Down Again was originally going to be included on Glee Club but a catastrophic hard drive failure left the recording in tatters (Jakko, Jakko, were you never taught the importance of backing things up?!). A careful reconstruction from bits of memory and MIDI files and re-recording allows its inclusion here. The other song is Django’s Lullaby written for Jakszyk’s young son and left off Glee Club as it was considered too twee.

    The instrumental pieces display how versatile a musician Jakszyk is, not that any confirmation of that is needed when one considers his background, which stretches from the funk-pop of Level 42 to the progressive vibes of The Tangent. As with The Bruised Romantic Glee Club, Waves Sweep The Sand is an immensely listenable CD and a worthy accompaniment to the original album.

    As it is a limited edition, at a cheap price to boot, if you want a copy best head over to the Burning Shed Website and get yourself a copy. Whilst there, if you haven’t already got one, pick up one of the newly re-released Glee Club album which is every good as our review stated it was back in 2006. Conclusion: 8 out of 10


  • Waves sweep the sand

    Posted on by Jakko

    'Waves sweep the sand': the new solo album from Jakko M Jakszyk

    ‘Waves sweep the sand’ is a collection of 17 high quality songs and instrumentals that are all related to, or were intended for the album that became Jakko’s highly acclaimed album, “The Bruised Romantic Glee Club”.

    ‘Waves sweep the sand’ comprises guitar instrumentals (which is what ‘Glee Club” began it’s life as) covers not included on CD 2 of the ‘Glee Club”, and assorted experiments, “Waves Sweep The Sand” is a superb companion piece to Jakko’s most highly regarded solo album.

    Available as a limited edition with art work by the great Phil Smee.

    This album can be obtained from Burning Shed.

  • Classic Rock Review of A Scarcity

    Posted on by Jakko

    When Robert Fripp allows
    an album to be directly
    compared to King Crimson
    -whose legacy he rightly guards with
    considerable zeal – then you know that
    you’re dealing with something special.
    This is certainly the case here.

    The combination of Fripp and Jakko
    Jakszyk is, at times, breathtaking. Not
    that this should come as a shock. The
    former, an experienced guitarist, is well
    versed in the history and artistry of the
    latter, having started the 21st Century
    Schizoid Band a decade ago in order to
    explore the music of King Crimson. But
    what they’ve created now, while owing
    a lot to the heritage of that great band, is
    something a little different.

    With Mel Collins adding beautifully
    observed saxophone and flute
    flourishes, these musicians have come
    up with an album that isn’t merely an
    indulgence in musical sophistication. Of
    course, the level of instrumentation is
    daunting and remarkable, but what may
    surprise you is that the six songs here
    are well structured, with considerable
    reliance on melody and groove.

    At times, of what is for the most part a
    laid-back excursion, there’s a funk rock
    feel. Perhaps that’s not unexpected,
    given Jakszyk’s background with Level
    42, but it’s nonetheless welcome.

    From the moment the title track
    opens up everything with a taut, tight,
    almost lounge approach, you’re drawn
    into a world where questions are asked,
    and rarely answered. Maybe it’s the
    consequence of the ages of the
    three- not to mention the rhythm
    section of bassist Tony Levin and
    drummer Gavin Harrison- but there’s
    an air of almost frustrated philosophy
    behind so many of the lyrics. Fear, grief,
    lost opportunities and loneliness are all
    tackled, with a sense that the passage of
    time has turned out to be the greatest
    villain of them all. In that respect, this
    album could have been awkward and
    dark, but such is the lightness of touch
    musically, it ends up a nice balance
    between gravitas and satisfaction.

    For most of the time, the tempo is
    sedate and gradual. But on The Other
    Man and The Light Of Day, things open
    up enough to suggest that this isn’t
    about keeping to a slow stroll. In fact,
    the latter track (which closes the record)
    almost jumps out at you, such is its beat.
    Moreover, if you listen carefully to this
    song’s lyrics, the album ends on a note
    of hope, rather than a maudlin one.

    While the King Crimson gene pool
    has been used to help construct this
    project, it has enough originality and
    ambition to become something very
    distinct. And in an era where so many
    are attempting to emulate what KC
    achieved long ago, it’s encouraging to
    hear these giants moving forward,
    taking risks and being at home in an
    environment where their formidable
    skills are used to enhance good songs
    rather than as an end in themselves.

    Malcolm Dome

  • Sid Smith’s review of Scarcity

    Posted on by Jakko

    Sid Smith June 08 2011

    “With King Crimson on hold since their live reunion of 2008, this instalment of the ProjeKct series – in which members break down into smaller research and development units – has caused surprise in some circles by releasing an album of finely crafted mid-paced songs rather than the fast-moving, genre-blurring instrumentals that characterised previous outings.

    Yet the ProjeKct experiments weren’t ever about a given style but more to do with evolving beyond a creative impasse. The catalysing force this time is guitarist / vocalist, Jakko Jakszyk (the only non-Crimson member present here), whose extrapolations of the initial improvised guitar duets with Fripp into ornate full-scale songs is a stunning achievement.

    Whilst Fripp is hailed for his acerbic, angular playing whether with King Crimson or via his ‘wild card’ appearances with Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Brian Eno et al, there’s always been a yearning streak in his work which he gives full rein throughout. His clean, sparse lines carve a heartbreaking melodicism and aching melancholy on the title track and undulating waves of The Price We Pay. As ever, Fripp’s incisive fretwork is devastatingly passionate.

    Mel Collins, playing with Fripp for the first time since 1974‘s Red, was always every bit the equal of the feted guitarist. Here he focusses on concise but telling sax commentaries rather than any obvious soloing. Across the rumbling grooves of Secrets, he turns in mocking soliloquies and some spectacular soaring choruses that nag and push at the prowling gravity of bassist Tony Levin and drummer, Gavin Harrison.

    The sombre mood hanging over the album is matched by a terse sense of restraint which only breaks cover for the explosive paranoia of The Other Man and the discursive atonalities of The Light Of Day which closes the album. An especially bleak Fripp/Jakszyk improvisation is disconsolately adorned by multi-tracked voices and gouging scrawls of acidic sax. It’s dark and powerful stuff.

    A Scarcity Of Miracles is a branching of the Crimson family tree with the co-option of an external contributor is as unprecedented as it is unexpected. Whether it continues to grow further is anyone’s guess. On the basis of what’s here, let’s hope it does.”

  • Crimson artist honoured

    Posted on by Jakko

    Congratulations to P J Crook, a respected British artist, who has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s bithday honours list today. She describes herself as an ‘English woman painter of grotesque crowds, rendered in strongly colored acrylic.’ Many of the recent King Crimson albums have been her original paintings, including the new Projekct ‘A Scarcity of Miracles’. PJ (or Dr Pamela Crook) lives in Cheltenham and is a good friend of Mr and Mrs Fripp.

  • The official video

    Posted on by Jakko

  • A King Crimson ProjeKct

    Posted on by Jakko

    Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins – A King Crimson ProjeKct - A Scarcity Of Miracles

    A King Crimson ProjeKct, A Scarcity Of Miracles is the debut release from (Jakko) Jakszyk, (Robert) Fripp, and (Mel) Collins.

    Featuring a dream rhythm section comprising Gavin Harrison and Tony Levin, ASOM is a sonically rich and detailed collection of surprisingly accessible and heartfelt songs which boasts a seductive, widescreen production.

    Echoing elements of King Crimson’s unique vocabulary, while presenting a unified group sound far removed from anything previously released under the KC name, A Scarcity Of Miracles manages to be both intimate and epic, complex yet immediate.

    Honouring a great band’s legacy, whilst undoubtedly taking it somewhere new, ASOM is the Crimson related album your wife and ballad loving friend might just fall in love with!

    ‘One of my favourite albums of those where I am a determining element. It has the Crimson gene, but it is not quite KC.’ – Robert Fripp

    The album comes as a standard cd, a heavyweight 200gm gatefold vinyl edition and in a deluxe cd / dvda version (which features a 5.1 mix, 24/96 stereo, the ASOM video, and an album’s worth of alternate mixes and improvs from the original sessions).

    The vinyl version comes with a 12″ poster containing PJ Crook’s cover artwork and lyrics.

    Obtain the album from Burning Shed.

    Burning Shed

  • dinamic_sidebar 4 none

©2015 Jakko M. Jakszyk Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)  Raindrops Theme