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Jakko M. Jakszyk biography
Jakko M. Jakszyk (born Michael Lee Curran) - Born 8th June 1958 (London, UK)

British singer and guitarist can boast of a long and variegated career, both as a solo artist and as a member of various bands. Through his collaborations with the likes of DAVE STEWART, PETER BLEGVAD, JOHN GREAVES and PIP PYLE, he has become an honorary member of the Canterbury 'family', although he has also earned fame as the guitarist of successful pop-jazz-funk band LEVEL 42.

Adopted at the age of 18 months by a Polish émigré, Norbert Jakszyk, and his French-born wife, Camille, he discovered later in life that his natural mother was renowned Irish singer Peggy Curran, and his father an unknown US airman. This story is told in his 1997 album "The Road to Ballina".

Music was one of young JAKKO's passions, together with football and acting, and he formed his first band, Soon After, at the age of 16. However, his first significant band was jazz-rock outfit 64 SPOONS; their only album, "Landing on a Rat Column" was released in 1992, long after they had disbanded. During his tenure as a member of the band, he met legendary Canterbury keyboardist Dave Stewart (whose fan he had been for a long time). Stewart subsequently invited him to join his band RAPID EYE MOVEMENT (1980-81), which also included PIP PYLE and bassist Rick Biddulph. He then went on to join Peter Blegvad and John Greaves in their post-KEW RHONE project, THE LODGE (1987).

During the '80s JAKSZYK collaborated with a number of high-profile musicians. He contributed to most of Dave Stewart's solo works, recorded together with his partner, singer Barbara Gaskin. In the same period, he appeared on "The Long Hello Vol.3" (1982), the third album of former VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR saxophonist David Jackson's solo project THE LONG HELLO. He also formed a band called DIZRHYTHMIA, together with former RENAISSANCE drummer Gavin Harrison (now with PORCUPINE TREE), PENTANGLE bassist Danny Thompson, and percussionist Pandit Dinesh; their self-titled album was released in 1988, with Dave Stewart guesting on one track. Other work during these years includes singer-songwriter SAM BROWN's debut album, "Stop!", and touring and recording with Italian singer ALICE (a close collaborator of FRANCO BATTIATO).

In 1990 came the release of his first solo album, "We Never Had It So Good", recorded in collaboration with singer-songwriter Tom Robinson, and featuring all members of DIZRHYTHMIA, as well a...
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The Bruised Romantic Glee ClubThe Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
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Kingdom of DustKingdom of Dust
Resurgence UK 2005
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The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by Jakko M. Jakszyk (2010-12-07)The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by Jakko M. Jakszyk (2010-12-07)
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JAKKO M. JAKSZYK discography

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Jakko Jaksyk & Tom Robinson: We Never Had It So Good [Aka: Blood Brother]
3.50 | 2 ratings
Mustard Gas And Roses
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Road To Ballina
3.63 | 34 ratings
The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
3.00 | 4 ratings
Waves Sweep The Sand

JAKKO M. JAKSZYK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JAKKO M. JAKSZYK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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3.00 | 1 ratings
Kingdom of Dust


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A 21st Century Schizoid Man

I first became aware of multi-instrumentalist Jakko M. Jakszyk through his involvement with ex-King Crimson members in the brilliant 21st Century Schizoid Band in which Jakko was the lead vocalist and guitarist. Some of his mates from that band in Ian MacDonald, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace are also participating in this solo album as well as Robert Fripp. One of the songs featured on this album, the very nice instrumental Catley's Ashes, was previously performed with the 21st Century Schizoid Band as can be heard on their fantastic live album Pictures Of A City - Live In New York.

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club is an eclectic set of songs and instrumentals of generally good quality. The sounds are occasionally jazzy, occasionally folky. The presence of Dave Stewart from Hatfield & The North and Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper might explain why this has ended up under Canterbury Scene even though the music it is not generally in that style. Trying to find relevant comparisons, Colin Bass' An Outcast Of The Islands album and Hogarth-era Marillion came to my mind. Jakko is a good singer and writer as well as a great guitar player. Occasionally his guitar sound reminds me of that of Allan Holdsworth. The mellow, jazzy The Things We Throw Away reminded me of the style of Steve Morse.

The main album feature Jakszyk originals while the bonus disc features various cover versions including two King Crimson songs. Pictures Of An Indian City is Crimson's Pictures Of A City done with strong influences of traditional Indian music and it is thus very different from the original. The other King Crimson number is Islands which is very nicely adapted by Jakko. I wasn't previously familiar with the other songs being covered here, but they are generally good songs. I enjoyed this album.

 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars To write the complete story of this overlooked British musician in a few lines is just impossible.Jakko M. Jakszyk was born in London and in 1958 and started his career with the promising group 64 Spoons in late-70's.During the next two decades Jakszyk tried to list up his career either through sparse solo efforts (sometimes simply refered as Jakko) or through several group appearances like in The Lodge, Level 42 or Dizrhythmia.He became wider known as a member of the King Crimson tribute act 21st Century Schizoid Band in 2002 and in 2006 he returned with his more accomplished solo album ''The Bruised Romantic Glee Club'' released on IcenI label.

A very ambitious 2CD release, which nicely sums up Jakszyk's various influences, and includes guest appearances be several huge names of the Progressive/Art Rock scene like Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, Ian Wallace, Robert Fripp, Hugh Hopper, Dave Stewart or Ian MacDonald among others.Through the years Jakszyk built great friendships with plenty of important musicians of the British/Canterbury school of Prog, eventually determining his overall style of songwriting and composing.And ''The Bruised Romantic Glee Club'' is a nice document of his career and music background, containing elements from Singer/Somgwriter styles, Canterbury Prog, British Prog, Art Rock and Jazz Fusion.Some pieces are just romantic singing ballads, performed with a deeply artistic mood, others are closer to KING CRIMSON or even VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR from their various, different era's, containing plenty of sax improvisations and solos, crunchy guitars, smooth Mellotrons and even good interplays.A fair part of the album though is dedicated to somekind of BRUDFORD-ian Fusion with an evident Canterbury edge sometimes with sharp but melodic guitars, deep bass lines and superb drumming by Gavin Harisson.Among these progressive tunes Jakszyk cleverly added some mellow instrumental pieces with strong Classical and Jazz references, containing among others soft pianos, strings, synths or saxes.

Regard this one as the personal trip of Jakko M. Jakszyk though the years, a lovely introduction to British Prog through the ages, having strong vintage and contemporary echoes.And while this album is not a masterpiece, it will definitely satisfy a very wide audience of listeners with different tastes.Warmly recommended.

 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by muddymouth

3 stars I really want to love this album, and I'll surely give it the effort it deserves, but I found the first disc fairly bland. The songwriting is just not that strong. There is a sameness to the songs (execution- wise) and none are particularly memorable. I'm also not a big fan of the 80's (or is it 90's?) sound of the instruments. Though technically proficient, some of these musicians seem to lack the poetic intangibles that these emotional songs deserve, and thus they (the songs) sound somewhat antiseptic.

If Jakko stuck with Brooks, Collins, MacDonald and Stewart for instance, I think the songs would have been given more room to stand on their own, so to speak. But I also realize that I am biased toward a more classic sound, so read this review with that in mind.

The second disc is like manna to my ears (mixed metaphor?)! The only improvement would have been to use vintage instruments exclusively. The Cow renditions, particularly Citizen King, are reason enough to purchase this disc. As Long As He Lies...however, is the crown jewel in this release - a beautiful, faithful rendition of a sublime tune which has always existed in murky sonics. Thank you, Jakko, and for this I round up to 3 stars.

 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Well, I finally found a copy, using that global detective Dick Trace the Internet to full effect and I am glad to report that the hunt was well worth the patience, the despair and ultimately the chase. As my dearest colleague Raff has so succinctly phrased in her effusive review, this is one of those personal little unknown ditties that will charm the pants off some unexpectant fan, in my case similar to my deep felt adoration of John G. Perry's 2 stupendous solo albums Sunset Wading and Seabird. It's just one of those ethereal enigmas that boggle the mind, no logic, just a kindred spirit that hits some invisible mark in one's musical psyche. Now she has very nicely detailed this prolific studio /session artist's career, so we won't enter the throes of repetition but what does need some recall is the simple surreal cast of iconic players that grace the grooves here and who provide clear understanding of why they are so incredible. Case in point Gavin Harrison's superlative drumming (we all know how blessed Porcupine Tree are with him behind the kit, anyone seeing him live will nod in complete agreement), well lets just say he is bloody brilliant. Next up, the legendary Mel Collins needs no introduction, easily Britain's most renowned prog sax player with all due respect to the late Elton Dean. He sizzles here as per his usual self. Now, throw in such stalwarts as Mark King of Level 42 fame (when Holdsworth was on board, they were awesome), Canterbury icon Dave Stewart on keys and the famed double bassist Danny Thompson , you know this will be special. As if that wasn't enough, names such as recently departed Ian Wallace and Hugh Hopper, fretless bassist John Giblin and stickman Nick Beggs as well as cellist Caroline Lavelle, drumster Clive Brooks, flautist Ian McDonald, saxist Gary Barnacle and percussist Pandit Dinesh adorn the 2 discs Jakko has proffered. Yes, this is very eclectic Brit prog with hints at that intelligent/adult pop the islanders seem so adapt at dishing out. Just great listening music, full of life and gusto, obviously played with deep affection (glee?) and complete mastery. Of course Robert Fripp could not resist adding his 2 cents worth, anointing this 2 CD project with a little dab of "rouge royalty"! Highlights are many, certainly not everyone's cup of tea, this is one of those extremist albums which in my opinion (shared with quite a few and opposed by many) is what makes this precisely so ?..let me find the apt word? precious! That some of my colleagues doubt the prog elements here is beyond my understanding, as the ultimate modus operandi to find out if something is really prog, remains the candlelit room , the glass of fine wine , a comfortable chair and letting the music flow around you, unchallenged by any outside interference. I love this stuff, correctly very near The Tangent (Jakko infused the brilliant "Not as Good as the Book" album with this style, Tillison's best work yet IMHO). This is just gorgeous music, uncontrived, highly personal, deeply evocative, profoundly honest and heartfelt , period! The added bonuses of delightful packaging, scintillating covers of KC classics "Pictures of a City" and "Islands" and mostly, the scarcity of the release itself gives it a treasure status in my eyes and leaves me no choice than a full ***** here. Please more like this . 5 sandy grey beaches Thanks Raff, it took awhile but I got it done
 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Jakko is perhaps best know among Prog fans for his involvement with 21ST CENTURTY SCHIZOID BAND, although he did play on THE TANGENT's "Not As Good As The Book". Then again Jakko has played guitar and sung on a lot of albums over the years. This solo work is a double album with the first disc being songs about his life, while the shorter (around 35 minutes) second disc are covers of songs that were the soundtrack to his life. His three favourite bands were SOFT MACHINE, HENRY COW and KING CRIMSON so we get covers of songs from those bands on dic two. We get a who's who of UK Prog musicians helping him out including Fripp, Hopper, Harrison (Gavin), Giles, MacDonald, Wallace, Brooks (Clive), Collins (Mel), Stewart (Dave) etc. As Snobb mentions in his review this isn't really Canterbury music but rather a collection of songs where the lyrics take the spotlight. Not that there isn't some outstanding instrumental music here because there is, it's just that the lyrics take precedent. So it's a hit and miss recording for me.

I'm so impressed with some of this while at other times the opposite is true.The packaging and liner notes are very well done, very detailed.This album has garnered a lot of critical acclaim and i'm glad I own it, but for now 3 stars is all I can muster. I have to mention as well that there is quite a bit of mellotron on this disc along with many other instruments. Oh yeah I have to mention that PORCUPINE TREE's Richard Barbieri's wife Suzanne adds some vocals on one track. Remember she did the same on "Up The Downstair" way back when.

 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars If you are Canterbury Scene fan, never heard about Jakko M. Jakszyk and are attracted by long list of ageing Canterbury/Prog stars, participated on this album, please read this review before you will pay your money for this double album.

I don't want to go deep in history, you can find it elsewhere (ok, Jakko as session musician played on Dave Stuart solo albums, etc. and one time even was touring guitarist with pop band Level 42). Most important is what we have there on this Jakko's double album. And - it's far not a Canterbury sound!

Each of two album's CDs are different: second one contains Jakko's covers of well-known prog songs from 70-s, played with star musicians from that time. If you checked Jakko's story, then you know one of his most recent project was King Crimson's tribute band "21st Schizoid Band", so he has good experience in that field. To be honest, some compositions there sound quite nice (ok, no one is better than original, or even near that), but at least you can listen some versions of songs you like played in slightly different form, often participating some great musicians. Don't think there is another reason this disc was recorded than Jakko's wish to play material he likes with some great original musicians, but at least these recordings, even if too much rounded and polished, has relations with progressive rock.

Then - there is one more disc, this time with original material. Few great names participates there as well, but it doesn't help. I don't speak about Canterbury sound, you will hardly find it even on disc two of this album. But music on disc one varies from pop-rock to just pop, and Level 42 comes to mind very soon.

So, having this double album you will be able always to choose what you like to listen first - short CD with prog covers or long one with pop songs. Now you're ready - make your decision.

Ah, yes -almost forgot: there is one more relation between Jakko and Canterbury sound. He married Michael Giles ' (one of early King Crimson member) daughter Amanda!

My rating is 2,5, rounded to 3.

 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by Anteater

5 stars Anything that has members of Level 42, King Crimson and Egg collaborating together is, to be honest, a very amazing thing. Touching everything from jazz-fusion to psychedelia to the ever interesting and immersive Canterbury Scene, Mr. Jakszyk's "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" is one of those rare extravagenzas that should be more known about and appreciated than it actually is, because there is an intimacy and chemistry here that you won't find often.

A double album, with side one being originals and side 2 being covers of bands that Jakko admires, 'Glee Club' has quite a few high points on both sides of the coin. Tracks like 'When We Go Home" and "The Things We Throw Away" are appropriately emotional and make very fine use of Jakko Jakszyk's unusually accomplished vocal abilities, while his covering of King Crimson's 'Islands' (which features Fripp himself) is apt and intimate in all the right places. Frequent use of sax, woodwinds and piano flesh out some of the more cinematic touches here and there, while Jakko's distinctive guitar stylings brush in and out to keep the compositions focused and energized when needed.

Basically, while I often consider collaborations overrated and rarely resulting in material that hits the mark more than these artists are capable of doing on their own, the ensemble that Mr. Jakszyk assembled here has worked wonders with material that could have possibly fallen on its face otherwise, and hence I recommend this with little complaint to anyone looking for something good to add to their prog. collection.

So yeah...five stars and a big thumbs up from the Ant-man!

 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club by JAKSZYK, JAKKO M. album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.63 | 34 ratings

The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko M. Jakszyk Canterbury Scene

Review by Raff
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars Welcome to one of the most obscure gems released in the last few years - courtesy of a musician who, in spite of his decades-long career and impressive curriculum, is still thought of as a sort of young whippersnapper. In fact, Jakko M. Jakszyk is almost 51 years old, and has shared a stage or a recording studio with many a revered protagonist of the progressive rock scene. Unfortunately, most of the bands he has played with over the years are of the positively obscure kind. Before he joined the 21st Schizoid Band in the role that was of Robert Fripp, Jakszyk had been little more than what in my native Italy we would term as an 'illustrious unknown', in spite of his short-lived tenure in a relatively high-profile band like Level 42.

Much like its author, "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" (released in 2006 to a lot of critical acclaim, and become unavailable soon afterwards, due to the record label going under) enjoys cult status among prog fans, though not many people have been able to listen to it. I was lucky to find a copy (at a very inviting price too, considering it is a double album) in one of the music stores I used to visit regularly when I lived in Rome. And what a great purchase indeed.. The album is an offering most dedicated prog listeners will be able to appreciate, with all the trademark features of our beloved genre, plus a healthy (though not excessive) dose of melody and accessibility. Moreover, fans of cover versions will be absolutely delighted by the contents of CD2 - a stunning collection of classics by the likes of King Crimson, Soft Machine and Henry Cow, performed by some of the stalwarts of the original Canterbury scene.

Right from its cover, a gorgeous, muted snapshot of Jakko walking on Brighton beach at sunset, "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" is a thoroughly classy package. Everything - the pictures, the detailed liner notes, the graphics, the music - is designed to appeal to listeners of sophisticated tastes, who look upon an album as a complete experience. I would not hesitate to call it a beautiful album, not only on account of the very accomplished nature of the music contained within, but also of the stories behind each of the song. Like many Canterbury albums, it has a very personal, intimate feel, as conveyed by the title itself.

From even a casual reading of the liner notes, Jakko comes across as a very sensitive, vulnerable human being, consequently bruised by life, but keeping up his optimistic side. Some of the stories attached to individual songs are very moving indeed, especially those related to his family. As many adopted children, he got to meet his real mother much later in life, not long before her untimely death. This part of his life story is the subject of the haunting instrumental "When Peggy Came Home", dedicated to the burial of his natural mother's ashes in her birthplace in Ireland; while the following song, "Highgate Hill", is centred around Jakko's own birth in a hospital in the titular area of London.

Musically speaking, the first CD features a number of songs and instrumental tracks performed by Jakszyk and a handful of high-profile guest musicians - namely Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, former Level 42 bassist Mark King, double bass legend Danny Thompson, and even His Majesty Robert Fripp. Canterbury keyboard king Dave Stewart also performs on one track ("Doxy, Dali and Duchamp"), as well as on most of CD2. Comparisons to other bands or artists are anything to easy to draw - I have read one review comparing some of the songs on "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" to David Sylvian's output, and I find myself in agreement with such a remark. Though Jakko does not have Sylvian's distinctive voice, I find his vocals are the perfect foil for the album's elegant, somewhat understated musical mood. I could also sometimes hear echoes of Jakko's current band, The Tangent, especially their more Canterbury-inspired tracks.

On the other hand, there is a distinctly jazzy feel running through the album, both in the songs and in the instrumentals. The marvellous "Catley's Ashes", driven by Mark King's pneumatic bass, is richly laced with Mel Collins' masterful saxophone; while the melancholy "The Things We Throw Away" features Jakko's long-time friend and former bandmate Lydon Connah, and the majestic "Srebrenica" is based on the traditional music of Serbia. Infused with sadness and loss, the atmospheric, rarefied "When We Go Home" (dedicated to the artist's adoptive mother, Camille) features Fripp on electric guitar, as well as Camille's own recorded voice.

All the songs are of consistent high quality, with a particular mention for the title-track and the already mentioned "Highgate Hill". Admittedly, they sometimes border on pop, but we are talking about an adult, well-rounded kind of pop, and definitely not about anything overtly easy or commercial. Jakszyk also deserves kudos for his skills as a lyrics writer, something not precisely common in the prog world. While he lays his soul bare, he hardly ever descends into mawkishness, and occasionally injects some humour in the overall wistfulness of his musings.

There is not much that can be said about CD2, if not that it is quite magnificent. The quality of the 'raw material' alone would guarantee excellent results, but what really makes these versions special is the obvious love lavished on them by both Jakko and his distinguished guests. It would be very hard for me to pick out a highlight, though the cover of Henry Cow's "The Citizen King" is nothing short of stunning, capturing the blend of wistful beauty and biting irony of the original to perfection. Jakszyk's Oriental-tinged take on King Crimson's "Pictures of a City", featuring Indian percussionist Pandit Dinesh (another former collaborator of the artist), also wins points for inventiveness; while "Islands", remarkably faithful to the original, fits perfectly within the album's stylishly melancholy atmosphere.

As I have already stated at the beginning of my review, it will be probably next to impossible for people to get hold of this album, at least for the time being. However, should you find it second hand, or in the bargain bins of some music store, do not let it escape your clutches. "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" can be easily counted as one of the best releases of the first 9 years of the new millennium, a prog album that pays homage to a glorious past, and at the same time feels thoroughly modern. With its intimate, confessional quality, and lush, tasteful music, it should appeal to most prog fans, except those who hate anything resembling melody. Four well-deserved stars, with a 'virtual' half one given out as a bonus.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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