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Keith Emerson - Emerson Plays Emerson CD (album) cover


Keith Emerson


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 39 ratings

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5 stars Keith Emerson, the very name conjures images of bombast and acrobatics, twirling in the air strapped to a piano while playing some outrageous solo or driving knifes into an unarmed organ, grand and epic themes crashing into some spectacular ending that tears must come to your eyes for the poor armadillo with cannons after he gets poked in the eye.

So then how did this simple and beautiful album come from him? Keith isn't trying to win any races here or just show off his technical skills. These aren't even songs in the traditional sense more like themes. What this is a 22 song journey into the thoughts and feelings of a man sitting at a piano. We revisit some old friends like Honky Tonk Train Blues, Creole Dance and the haunting Close to Home all released on prior ELP albums. The rest are compositions or themes Keith has written over the years. The music on this CD flows from one track to another jumping periods in time from the old bluesy jazz Roll n' Jelly to more contemporary themes like Ballad For a Common Man. I like to call the latter music for a rainy afternoon. Those of you who think Keith can't slow down and has to always be over the top needs to listen to BFaCM and others like Solitudinous and Prelude to Candice. On these types of pieces Keith shows he does have a vulnerable soul and lets his beauty come out. When Emerson decides to compose a period piece he does so with all the gusto and reverence for styles those are clearly very dear to him. Honky Tonk New Orlenes blues, 40's style jazz, even a little be-bop, Gershwin and of course even some ELP style we all know and love.

If your looking for the next epic ELP album this isn't it. It might not even be considered a prog record as that all it is a guy and a piano playing songs under 4 minutes long. It might even be something you and your wife or significant other could enjoy together on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So how can I rate it so high as a 5? Because it is a perfect window into the mind and heart of a musician simply done yet always satisfying. I love this album.

Garion81 | 5/5 |


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