King Crimson: The Sheltering Sky
The Sheltering Sky
Discipline (E.G. Music 3629-2)
Adrian Belew (guitar), Tony Levin (stick, bass).
Composed by King Crimson.
Recorded: date unknown; released in 1981
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
By far "The Sheltering Sky," its name taken from a 1949 novel by Paul Bowles, is the most rewarding cut on Discipline for any jazz-fusion fan. The performance sounds like Weather Report without saxophonist Wayne Shorter and with two guitarists instead of none. In all past King Crimson lineups, Robert Fripp was the only guitarist. In this new version of the band, Fripp invited Adrian Belew along. Fripp plays all sorts of "devices," so he could probably come up with some sounds that approximated two guitars. But he couldn't really play counterpoint to himself. I mean he could … but you know what I mean. The two-guitarists model makes a real difference. The ever-clever Bruford steadily pounds an insistent rhythm into your head as Fripp on device, an early guitar synthesizer really, soars above it all in a Joe Zawinul-inspired flight. Every one of this tune's eight or so minutes is soaked to the saturation point with fusion trademarks. I may get an argument from many jazz-rockers that I let some of King Crimson’s other works into the fusion fortress a little too willingly. But anyone disagreeing that this tune belongs in there should be sent into the corner.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky