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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Masters From The Vaults CD (album) cover

MASTERS FROM THE VAULTS

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 27 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

jimpetrie2000
4 stars An early recording of ELP done for Belgian TV, the trio are captured working well together and enjoying themselves. It features material mainly from the first album with a couple of songs from The Nice days.

Emerson's playing is exemplary, here we see his over the top display of playing the Hammond upside down, riding it like a horse and sticking knives into it to hold down notes. These histrionics only really occur during the Rondo/Bach improvisations section, thankfully, as ultimately they do not sustain interest. A point to note, no one before or since has displayed this flamboyant approach to keyboard playing and one must look on Emerson as being pretty much unique. Carl Palmer's drum solo is also in this section, great drummer though he is he also overdoses and goes on too long.

The other tracks are a different story, here there is much less showmanship they are content to let their exceptional playing and energy shine through. For me the highlights are Take a Pebble with a section from Tank in the middle, Nutrocker and Knife Edge.

Considering the age of the recording, the stereo sound is excellent but don't turn the volume too high. There is a 5.1 surround sound option but I haven't tried it. Picture quality is only acceptable, the colours look a bit washed out but you get plenty of close ups of Emerson's & Palmer's technique. Lake is mainly in the background until we get to the acoustic section on Take a Pebble. His voice and guitar are clear as a bell.

Mixed in with shots of the musicians is material showing trees, bubbles and buildings, thankfully these are kept to a minimum or would have spoiled a great DVD. There are no extras which is a shame as the concert footage only lasts 60 minutes.

ELP fans shouldn't be disappointed. If like me you have never seen them live this particular DVD is an excellent alternative.

jimpetrie2000 | 4/5 |

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