Originally released in 2006, the two disc solo album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club from Jakko M. Jakszyk is now (5 years later) made available on the North American label, Inner Knot Records (which is the home of California Guitar Trio and various solo albums by Robert Fripp). Jakko has performed with the 21st Century Schizoid Band which contains alumni of various King Crimson line-ups. This is where I have knowledge about Jakko from. I even saw 21st Century Schizoid Band play in 2006 at the Key Club in West Hollywood.
Joining Jakko on The Bruised Romantic Glee Club is a who’s who of progressive rock past and present including Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Gavin Harrison, Hugh Hopper, Mark King, and Dave Stewart.
On the first disc there are 11 tracks , 5 of which are instrumentals. One of the songs that I recognized is ”Catley's Ashes” (6:15) from the first 21st Century Schizoid Band’s release in 2002. The rest were all new to me. One of my favorites on the first disc besides “Catley’s Ashes“, is “Highgate Hill” (6:23) which reminds me of the Genesis song, A Trick Of A Tail with it‘s whimsical memorable chorus.
On the second disc, contains some cover tunes from King Crimson. First one is “Pictures Of An Indian City” (8:07). Here Jakko reinterprets the classic King Crimson song with an interesting and original twist. He also covers the song “Islands” (9:28) from the King Crimson album of the same name. This one stays true to the original.
Jakko also covers some songs by Henry Cow, of which I have no experience with and can’t compare. Those songs are “Nirvana For Mice” (4:31) which features the drumming of Gavin Harrison, and “The Citizen King” (6:26) both of which I will have to investigate the originals soon.
I have been wanting to pick up The Bruised Romantic Glee Club for the longest time so when it arrived, I was very pleased. Upon the several listens since then, it’s grown to be a favorite of mine. If this is the case for others, then I’d implore you to purchase this very important album ASAP. I feel that it should be in every prog fan’s collection thus getting a high recommendation.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on April 30th, 2011