Saturday, September 1, 2012

JON LORD: "Concerto For Group and Orchestra"

Rating: RR
Label: earMUSIC/Edel 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Concerto for Group and Orchestra?? The Deep Purple album from 1970 that passed quietly before the following breakthrough and absolutely epic record of "In Rock"? Are we refering to the white elephant? The on paper fantastic conceptual live duel between Purple and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and on record later condemned as the tragic event and sheer accident by the band? Appearantly not so bad according to Jon Lord? since it's now available for the first time ever on CD in a different shape and colour.

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios and not live this time, the three "movements" are conducted by Paul Mann and feature guest musicians such as Joe Bonamassa, Steve Morse, Bruce Dickinson, Darin Vasilve, Brett Morgan, Kaisa Laska, Steve Balsamo and of course Royal Liverpool Philharmonica Orchestra. Yeah, there's a certain kind of movement going on alright. We first decided to take a cat/power nap, followed by two kettle of tea, five mugs of Cola, and by now any other beverage we could get our hands on to keep us from falling a sleep.

Mainly intended as the classical music album with the occasional rock? 80% instrumental and several sections could no doubt work as filmscore music. Groundbreaking meeting of rock and classical music, not always the same as top-notch music. The ebony/ivory work on the other hand, wow, and it's nice to hear Maiden's Bruce copy the air-siren aka Gillan. But to be honest, it's below average as any form, style, or genre. Die-hard fans are well aware of this matter as Jon Lord recorded a bunch of undistinguised solo albums and projects over the years (Ashton/Lord's First Of The Bands, Gemini Suite, etc).

The heritage of Purple dates all the way back to 1967 when former Searchers drummer Chris Curtis enlisted Blackmore and the great and late Jon "The Walrus" Lord. The Lord died on July 16. 2012 but the unique Hammond sound so integral to Purple lives on forever. We'll always remember him as Mr. Hammond (R.I.P.). Release date: October 1st.

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