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Keith Emerson - Emerson Plays Emerson CD (album) cover

EMERSON PLAYS EMERSON

Keith Emerson

 

Crossover Prog

3.84 | 39 ratings

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black/note
4 stars Surely many albums feat. Keith Emerson, from the Nice to the EL&P, deserved major flavours in developing brilliant- burning-bursting IDEAS in a sort of Blade Runner's world, always on the ridge between different styles... with K's keyboard acrobatics, especially at the Hammond organ & the Robert Moog legendary synth.

Surely - on the contrary! - THIS album feat. KE only at the acoustic piano - i.e. usually a nine-foot Steinway Grand - reveals & demonstrates The Other Side of K's imagination: here he's maybe a finger-breaker, whether in the classical Creole Dance originally written by Alberto Ginastera, or in the boogie-honky tonk-ragtime inspired pieces, like Cajun Alley, Roll 'n Jelly, Hammer It Out; here he's certainly a sort of magic wizard, in depicting smooth paysages, imaginary landscapes of his vast mind not less than (of) his profound heart.

That's The Project KEY! Recorded in different times, the 22 short pieces we found in this album can be distributed per genres/styles: jazz efforts, in which B&W Blues literally overwhelms a clumsy, mechanical Summertime; soundtrack traces, from the Best Revenge series and Lucio Fulci's 1984 italian thriller Murderock; early jazz oriented rags - i.e. Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, Meade Lux Lewis - including Honky Tonk Train Blues recorded in 1976 with "monster" Oscar Peterson (!) at BBC TV Piano Party Programme; a true GEM, the Creole Dance by Alberto Ginastera - i.e. Keith re- arranged it... with rough/sincere composer's & his wife's approval (!); live pieces - i.e. For Kevin (Gilbert) recorded at Gorge at George, Washington 1996 and Close To Home, Royal Albert Hall, London 1992.

At last - but they connect & amalgamate - not less than eight meditative & introspective pieces, seemingly piano improvisations... but they aren't (!) Here Keith, afar from sleight-of-hands demonstrations, is more than once Close To The Edge, that's always on the ridge between music & painting, playing nothing but the essential - i.e. the Vagrant is a dedication by Keith to his Steinway Grand Piano which is "vagrant" as him... and the Outgoing Tide contains an evident quote from Ludovico Einaudi piano work.

In a few words, Plays Emerson isn't a typical K's album: it's one that classical pianists (!) - especially the ones who dig jazz roots & american composers of the XX century - can esteem & appreciate more & more! nb. Sleeve Notes by Keith are translated in German & in Italian too...

black/note | 4/5 |

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