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Jon Lord

 

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3.30 | 23 ratings

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Cheesehoven
2 stars This is a strange hybrid of rock, jazz, classical and the avant garde. Although one can admire the bold eclectic experimentation of the two lengthy paces here, it is not quite a success. The first piece is billed as an attempt to continue Bach's unfinished art of fugue. There have been many attempts to conclude this magnificent composition in the past, usually less free than Lord's. The actual Bach composition does not start until we are 8 minutes into the piece and is played pretty straight. Before that we have rather incongruous jazz rock improves interrupted several times by heavy orchestral blasts of the BACH motif (B flat, A , C, B natural), and there's a viola solo hinting at themes from classical works followed by a jazzy trumpet solo. After the unfinished fugue, the jazz trumpet returns even more incongruous than before followed by an exciting but short lived riff passage. The problem for me is that none of this additional material bears any relationship to Bach's work either thematically or harmonically so I'm not sure what new insights it really brings. The longer piece "windows" is even more eclectic, Starting with a fairly ordinary bluesy organ, it is surprising to encounter a pair of sopranos improvising briefly interrupted by the more familiar strains of David Coverdale. Many rock fans, I suspect, will find their high pitched wailings rather grating. Without a break the slow movement begins about 10 minutes or so in. This is quite a change, a lushly scored and very big romantic theme, some weirdly 'spacey' sounds, then a memorable and darkly melancholy string tune. This is the highlight of the album for me. Coverdale adds some vocals but unfortunately the lyrics consist of platitudes such as "make love not war". A drum solo and more weird sounds lead to a return of the sopranos, intertwining to good effect. Then more generic 70s funky rock, drums solos etc and out of nowhere, a piano tune reminiscent of ELP. By now, what little shape the piece had has fallen apart and it is now an incoherent mess.
Cheesehoven | 2/5 |

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