Pre-order your copies of Celebrating Jon Lord – live at Royal Albert Hall, April 4 2014. It comes in five different editions. Full details here.
Last night, conductor Paul Mann sat down to watch a pre-release copy of the full film from Celebrating Jon Lord last April at Royal Albert Hall. That’s Paul’s disc in the photo.
‘While I was supposed to be signing things yesterday, I took four hours off to watch advance copies of the two concert films and the documentary. The director, Tim Sidwell, and his production company Toward Infinity has done a truly magnificent job, full of the kind of imagination and flair and sensitivity that Jon would have absolutely loved.
You can now get Concerto for Group and Orchestra, Jon Lord’s final recording, on deluxe 2LP vinyl at a specially reduced price at our webshop.
Containing the full Concerto spread across three sides – everything is there from the antagonistic 1st movement over the gloriously beautiful 2nd movement and into the 3rd explosive finale. The fourth side is exclusively given to Jon’s final BBC interview, 22 minutes in total.
The album features Joe Bonamassa, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Morse, Steve Balsamo, Guy Pratt, Kasia Laska and more. Offer only while stocks last.
Paul was instrumental in helping The Sunflower Jam create this unique musical evening – a successful celebration of Jon Lord and his life of music.
Paul Mann discusses the concert’s second half as well as the aftermath and the emotions that ran through the Royal Albert Hall during the concert.
by Rasmus Heide
As we move into the second half of the concert, the orchestra wasn’t involved in the Artwoods segment with Paul Weller singing. His involvement puzzled a few people. What was his connection to Jon?
- I think that Jon and Paul Weller were friendly, met occasionally and were mutual admirers, but I don’t think there’s necessarily any reason why we should have been restricted in our choice of performers only to people who were especially close to, or associated with Jon – especially when you have the chance to have someone like Paul Weller to do those songs.
- When we decided to include Artwoods material, he seemed the perfect choice, and besides which, I’ve always been a huge Jam and Weller fan.
How were these two particular Artwoods tracks chosen?
- I think Paul Weller must have chosen them himself, in conjunction with Wix.
The Paice Ashton Lord pieces were a great surprise. How did you choose those two tracks?
Paul offers insight into his experiences in helping The Sunflower Jam create the unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 2 of 3.
Read a detailed run through of the first half including details on the pieces and parts that had never been performed live before.
by Rasmus Heide
Having seen Jon perform with several different orchestras over the years, I can only say I’d rarely heard his music performed as well as it was at Celebrating Jon Lord – even allowing for Jon’s absence.
- Well, that’s lovely to hear of course! I would say straight off that it was clear from the first couple of minutes of rehearsal that the Orion Orchestra had their hearts in exactly the right place for this. I was afraid they might have thought they were just there to play lots of long string chords behind a rock band. But there was none of that – they grasped very quickly the true scope of what they were being asked to do.
- It’s a tall order for an orchestra to be so many things at once: playing rhythmically intricate symphonic music such as the Durham Concerto, providing hard-edged backing for rock songs, as well as subtle and lyrical accompaniments. It was all in there, from one extreme to the other, which is of course a tribute to Jon’s unique scope as a composer, but also to this young orchestra’s ability to encompass so many things in such a short time.
- One of the things I did in the preparation for this concert, having made the new editions, was to set about re-studying them as if they were by just another composer, someone I didn’t know. I wanted to keep my approach to the music fresh – you know those wonderful T.S. Eliot lines, “to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
Let’s look at the setlist and start with Fantasia from Sarabande and the excellent decision of opening with this.
Paul offers insight into his work in assisting The Sunflower Jam create a unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 1 of 3.
Since Jon passed away, Paul Mann has been working on producing updated editions of all of Jon’s musical works. This work made him an integral partner for The Sunflower Jam when the preparations for Celebrating Jon Lord began.
Apart from adding his input to the setlist of Jon’s music to be performed at the concert, one of Paul’s first ideas was to add orchestral arrangements to two tracks off Deep Purple’s most recent album, NOW What?!
Read here about the initial meetings to get the concert plans off the ground, the hectic rehearsals, and much more.
by Rasmus Heide
Looking back at Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall on April 4, would you agree that this was much more than a regular evening of music?
- Yes, there was a very strong element of catharsis about it for very many people – a way to deal with their feelings about losing Jon. With all of that emotion together in one room, even (or perhaps especially) one as big as the Albert Hall, something special was bound to happen. And that incredibly moving appearance of [Jon’s wife] Vicky onstage with Ian [Paice] by her side – it was so brave of her to do that – this set the emotional tone of the whole evening.
If you go back to that evening in your mind now, what do you remember going through your head?
Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall last April will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD by earMUSIC on September 26, 2014. It marks the 45th anniversary of the world debut performance of Jon Lord‘s Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the same venue in 1969.
Featuring Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman, Bruce Dickinson, Glenn Hughes, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, Neil Murray, Paul Weller and many more, the release comprises the full two-set concert from April 4 2014.
Celebrating Jon Lord was the brain child of Jacky Paice, wife of Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice. She also runs the annual Sunflower Jam, which started in London in 2006 and has seen a string of high profile music alumni – including Jon – every year giving their efforts to the cause of cancer relief.
After Jon sadly passed away in 2012, plans soon evolved for a celebratory evening of his music. Considering the amount of respect and love expressed by anybody who had worked or played with or simply met Jon, it is not a surprise that the 2014 Sunflower Jam turned into an evening dedicated totally to his music.