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Jon Lord - Beyond The Notes CD (album) cover


Jon Lord


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4.08 | 33 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Keeping busy in retirement

Four years after the release of "Pictured within", Jon Lord decided it was time for him to make another solo statement. In the intervening period, he had played with an R'n'B/Blues rock band, but his studio activity was limited. By this time, he had retired from Deep Purple, primarily due to the rigours of touring. In a clear attempt to emphasise that he now sees himself as a composer as much as he does a performer, the sleeve image is of Lord with conductor's baton in hand.

The line up for the album is very similar to that on "Pictured within", including return appearances by Sam Brown, Thijs Van Leer and Pete York. Also present once again is what is best described as a small orchestra. From a pop history perspective, the most significant addition to the line up is Frida from Abba (reportedly a family friend), recording for the first time in 10 years.

The main difference between this album and the previous one is that there is much more vitality to the music this time around. We still have the reflective and melancholy sections, but they are interspersed with spirited passages of up-tempo sounds. Last time around, John was in mourning, here he is torn between the relief of having a blank sheet in front of him in terms of his future, and the trauma of leaving a band he had dedicated much of his life to. The second track, "De profundis" is dedicated by Jon to his departure, the piece capturing the melting pot of emotions perfectly.

Apart from some choral style voices on the opening "Miles away", the first vocals we encounter are on the third track "One from the meadow". This melodic 8 minute song finds Sam brown in typically fine form, delivering her own emotional lyrics beautifully. Her voice is nicely counterpointed by solo violin. "Cologne again" is the most dynamic solo composition by Lord in many years. It features a quasi-improvised organ section, complemented by some aggressive orchestration and the odd eastern sound.

Frida's voice on "The sun will shine again" is instantly recognisable, the piece allowing her to demonstrate the often under-appreciated talent she possesses. It seems ironic that the vast majority of long time Abba fans will be quite oblivious to what is undoubtedly one of her finest singing performances. Miller Anderson returns again to sing "November calls", his deep emotive voice suiting the song well. Incidentally, it is the lyrics of this song which provide the album title.

The title "The Telemann experiment" refers to a contemporary of Bach's, one of Jon's favourite composers as evidenced by his Bach references throughout his early solo work. Telemann also wrote in the Baroque style, and indeed was the more famous of the two in their day. This track actually takes us back to Lord's "Sarabande" album.

The album closes with "Music for Miriam", a reworked and lengthened version of a piece which appeared on "Pictured within", Miriam being Jon's late mother.

In all, an album which complements the previous "Pictured within". When heard together, the two albums work with each other to offer an even better experience than when heard individually. Whether Lord's aspirations as a serious composer will be recognised by future generations in the same way as his own influences (especially Bach) have enjoyed, is for future generations to decide. For now, we simply have to sit back and enjoy the music.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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