Anyone who enjoyed the jazzy piano fingerings that Keith Tippett brought to the second, third, and fourth King Crimson albums, or the extended big-band experiments that Tippett's Centipede rock orchestra recorded around this same time, will want to try the jagged textured improvisations of Ovary Lodge. Consisting of Tippett on piano and zither, Roy Babbington on bass, Frank Perry on percussion, and Robert Fripp producing, this is an acoustic trio companion to the kind of jazzy piano noodling that Tippett made his name with on those Crimson albums. "Amethyst, Gold and Royal Blue," the first part of "Mountain Temple in Spring," even manages to recall "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" with its use of bells, gong, finger cymbals, and other percussive devices. "A Frail White Butterfly, Beneath the Spell of Moon Is Sleeping on the Huge Bronze Bell" and "Tropic of Capricorn" seem to be built almost as much on sound effects generated by the instruments as on identifiable music as such, and it's only on "Nursery Rhyme" that Tippett explores the lyrical and traditional musical strengths of his instrument. Then we get "Sylphs in Pisces," a piece as off-putting in its tempo shifts and textural transformations as "Nursery Rhyme" is alluring. The indexing and the track list don't match, so the identification of certain pieces is difficult to determine, but a seventh track features similar noodling by Babbington on the bass, abetted by Perry on gongs, cymbals, and drums. AMG.
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