Jon Lord the rock legend celebrated

When friends and colleagues of Jon Lord got together to celebrate his life in music at London’s Royal Albert Hall in April 2014, the evening turned into a magnificent display of love, affection and glorious music.

For this second installment of our look at the brand new vinyl editions of the show we focus on the first half of the evening’s second set. Deep Purple closed the evening (and not with Smoke on the Water for an appreciated change), but before them the stage had been graced by people like Glenn Hughes, a revised Paice Ashton Lord, Bruce Dickinson, Paul Weller and many more.

With a somewhat chronological running order, the rocking second half of the show started with two tracks from Jon’s 1960s group The Artwoods – sung by none other than Paul Weller; Things Get Better and I Take What I Want. Lord and Weller had performed together previously at the annual charity events Sunflower Jam, and Weller put The Artwoods’ rhythm & blues to brilliant use as a gentle intro to the more intense rocking that would come later.

Phil Campbell from The Temperament Movement fronted a revisit to the sorely missed Paice Ashton Lord. Silas & Jerome and I’m Gonna Stop Drinking were as funky and vibrant as when they were new, and Campbell owned the stage with his wonderful pastiche of Tony Ashton – all swagger and the morning after-voice. Continue reading “Jon Lord the rock legend celebrated”

Celebrating Jon Lord now on vinyl

Celebrating Jon Lord, the majestic evening of Jon Lord’s music held at Royal Albert Hall in April 2014, is now seeing a full release on vinyl.

The good folks at earMUSIC have wrapped the full show into three gatefold vinyl releases, smack full of photos, notes and an overall feel of classy musical joy.

To be able to present everything from the very sad yet also glorious and musically very satisfying and uplifting evening, the music has been spread over three individual releases.

The first, The Composer (2LP) aptly deals with the evening’s first half, which was dedicated to Jon’s impressive orchestral work. The second half has been split into two volumes: The Rock Legend vol 1. (1LP) and Deep Purple’s set (vol. 2) (2LP).

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DVD pre-view: Imagination and flair and sensitivity

preview DVDr_450

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.

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Review: You never heard it quite like this

C4G&O_front“A valedictory for a man and his stubborn creative vision. Lord lived like he plays the B3 here, with a ferocious creativity. That same dogged sense of determination pushed him to continue working on this piece until he got it just right. This prog rock-meets-classical piece ends up sounding brand new, even for long-time Purple fans.”

Thus writes Something Else Reviews in their potent overview of Concerto for Group and Orchestra.

There is “a breath-taking clarity in the interactions of the orchestra, Lord and his chosen soloists”, and on the second movement “vocalists Balsamo and Kasia Laska add to the dark portent that initially surrounds this second movement, before Dickinson manages to match — and maybe even exceed — Bonamassa’s fiery intensity.”

“The concerto’s final third — Lord’s torrential “Vivace – Presto,” elicits a jaw-dropping sense of wonder.”

Read the full review – and order the CD now.

A joy to behold – reviews and chart action for the Concerto

Jon’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra has been out for a couple of weeks now. You can order it from JonLord.org.

This promotional video shows a collage of Jon Lord visuals from throughout his career while you listen to an excerpt of the Second Movement featuring Jon’s solo, Joe Bonamassa’s and Bruce Dickinson’s vocals.

The Concerto has entered the classic album charts in several countries. In Belgium it entered at #15 and has since climbed to #3.

Other chart positions:
Germany: 37
Austria: 44

Reviews have started to appear and here is a selection of excerpts:

Continue reading “A joy to behold – reviews and chart action for the Concerto”

Review: Concerto for Group and Orchestra (2012)

Exclusive review by Vincent Budd for JonLord.org. Previously, Vincent wrote ’The Gemini Man: an Introduction to the Orchestral Works of Jon Lord’ published in 2003.

This studio account of the Concerto for Group and Orchestra is Jon’s final statement of his prized composition.  It is a glittering new take on his glorious opus and, for those of us who have taken the work to our hearts, we have here another superlative version to cherish. It is a deeply moving experience made even more affecting by the composer’s passing.

Guy Pratt (bass), Jon Lord, Paul Mann during the Liverpool recording sessions. Photo: Mick Gregory

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First of the Big Bands, now even bigger

Purple Records have released the remastered edition of Tony Ashton and Jon Lord‘s First of the Big Bands album.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer recommends the album and calls it ‘thoroughly enjoyable.’ Hitting the nail on the head, they say that you are ‘drawn into it’s warm, rootsy embrace.’

The remastered CD contains two bonus tracks – the single b-side Sloeback and an alternative version of Downside Upside Down – along with extensive liner notes by Simon Robinson.

The project was Ashton’s and Lord’s brainchild and continuation of their working relationship after Ashton Gardner & Dyke helped out on Jon Lord’s soundtrack album The Last Rebel.

Stylistically, First of the Big Bands was the precursor to Paice Ashton Lord‘s Malice in Wonderland. Lots of brass, piano and female backing vocalist. Lots of excellent musicianship.

First of the Big Bands resulted in just two live performances, one of which was for the BBC. This was later issued on a now unavailable live album, First of the Big Bands Live in Concert 1974.

Read the full review.

Buy the album.

If you don’t know the album, check out Downside Upside Down (from the original unremastered edition):