It isn’t a new idea to undertake a work that is dedicated to covers of already known and loved songs, but it is somewhat unusual for one person to take the music of just one band and translate it into the classical form. Again, this isn’t exactly without precedent, and while everyone is fully aware of the many full-blown orchestral attempts over the years (some of which have been incredibly successful, such as David Palmer’s work on the likes of Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, others not so much), there have actually been a few other attempts with far less bombast, and I am still a huge fan of the two albums by Yngve Guddal & Roger T. Matte where they translated Genesis for two grand pianos. But, racking my brain and my personal library I cannot think of another quite like this.
Here Fernando Perdomo combines his love of classical guitar and King Crimson to create something which is a worthy tribute, and successful on all counts. One thing I particularly like is that this recording does contain a few slight fluffs, which allows me to think that each recording is solid without any drop-ins or overdubs. Indeed, with the resonance of the strings, it would be hard for that to take place. Ten songs, with a total length of just 25 minutes, this is a delight for any fan – as to whether it works for those who don’t know any of the pieces I am unable to judge, as this is like meeting old friends who are familiar, but somehow quite different as well.
Fernando Perdomo says of the release: “’ The Crimson Guitar’ is my passionate love letter to the amazing King Crimson music that fascinated me when I was first learning classical guitar in my early teens… I created these arrangements with the utmost respect for the music and legacy of the band. My hope is to bring light to the delicate beauty of the songs”. I think he has achieved that with some ease, as these are a delight, making them somehow more original and also inviting the listener to go back to the original albums and compare the two. Sheer class from beginning to end and essential for any fan of King Crimson.
8/10 Kev Rowland