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Jon Lord - Sarabande CD (album) cover


Jon Lord


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3.90 | 84 ratings

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4 stars A crash of orchestra and cymbals opens this huge work, one of a small number of genuine symphonic constructions by a rock musician. Composed partly in the form of a traditional baroque dance suite, 'Sarabande' was a touch more than just another pet project by a self-involved and misled rocker. Keyboardist Jon Lord had been working toward this his whole career. The title piece is strong, with a cool bass line and Lord's infectious synth, built up with masses of horns, strings, and percussion shifting from Latin moves and sweeping winds to jazzy and romantic encounters. This is *orchestral* rock more than it is *symphonic*, and the record is bold even for 1976, betraying little of Lord's purple past. In the 11-minute 'Guige' we hear remnants of Dave Brubeck's proto-fusion and even Bo Hansson's distant impact, as instruments talk to each other in spirited conversation. The second half grooves smoothly into hip street rhythms, Arabian sand storms, Eastern treasure and T.E. Lawrence. 'Caprice' is first-rate syn-phonic rock sewn into a fascinating quilt of opera, pomp and circumstance and is benefitted by Eberhard Schoener's firm conducting.

Along with other beloved and bemocked prog/classical excesses like Rick Wakeman's 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', the Nice's 'Five Bridges Suite' and Mahavishnu's 'Apocalypse', Jon Lord's opus holds much quality music and is among a handful of records representing all that was both marvelous and maddening about that indulgent era. What a glorious time.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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