Re: Pretentious music??
Great post, Ken. You'd be thinking of Keith Tippett. He also played on all of the Lizard album (Cat Food was clearly a preview for that album). Bolero is my fave track on that album and Keith's playing is a big reason for that. It's poodling along as a quasi classical piece and then Keith slips in this subtle, offbeat jazz chord that changes the entire mood leading to the song morphing into ... um, prog bolero trad :)
I wasn't mad on Andy McCulloch's playing at times on that album but he had some moments, notably that gorgeous cymbal crash at the end of Bolero, and he was great in Cirkus at times and played some very nifty bits in Indoor Games.
Oh yeah, Frippy is an odd guy. In a way he reminds me of Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory. I have a soft spot for socially inept but insanely brainy men :)
I think you hit the nail on the head re: Brit & US scenes, something I was groping for on the other thread. That's why I'm so keen on European music - it's less earthy and more pretentious!
Yeah, there was a RnR orthodoxy, now that you mention it. IMO a lot of that was created by risk averse record companies looking for formulas and critics who were stifling in their conservative "rebellion". If you're a rebel because being a rebel is compulsory are you really a rebel?
Had a big smile on my face reading the last sentence of that post - ha!