Fripp originally came to widespread public attention via his group King Crimson but his performance and recording career has spanned five decades including work with Brian Eno, David Bowie and Grinderman.
Flautist and saxophonist Theo Travis is a regular collaborator and Discretion is their third album together. The music follows on from the duo’s previous album releases and combines almost telepathic interplay with a deep understanding of musical texture and space, the building of long slow melodies, and the creation of slowly shifting harmonic soundscapes.
King Crimson fans will also not be disappointed with presence of the melodic theme The Power to Believe from the album of the same name. This opens and closes this album with a very atmospheric version of the tune played on soprano saxophone over moody guitar soundscapes beginning and ending the album in a similar and satisfying way.
The LSO Live recording this month captures one strand of Gergiev’s French-themed season with the LSO in 2009 -2010, bringing together several of Ravel’s dance-inspired pieces, chief among them Daphnis and Chloé. Gergiev is a natural narrator of ballet scores and paces this performance of Daphnis brilliantly.
Despite also having its origins in ballet, Ravel’s Boléro is now regarded as a stand-alone piece for ‘solo’ orchestra – a ritual for the concert hall which, ideally, the conductor animates without seeming to. It’s fair to say that Gergiev gave fairly minimal direction to the players in concert, though perhaps not quite as zen as the direction Ravel is said to have given when conducting the piece in 1930. The LSO’s performance was also captured on a DVD which Bowers and Wilkins has made available as a HD download, so those interested can actually check out Gergiev’s body language in this piece if they wish.
Finally, anyone who thinks the maestro’s musical interests are restricted to big, impactful orchestral works might care to listen to the remaining work on this disc, the Pavane pour une infante défunte. With its hushed dynamics and languid tempi it makes for an unvarnished interlude between the two grander pieces, and shows Gergiev at his most tender and unshowy.