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Various Artists (Tributes) - Encores, Legends & Paradox - A Tribute To The Music Of ELP  CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.65 | 37 ratings

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4 stars I don't have a definitive opinion about the so-called tribute albums because most of them are only an excuse for old or unknown artists to get some bucks without having to create music.

Some of the tribute albums are only a copy of the original songs without adding any contribution from the copyist (can't say artist), and others are so changed that seem a failed experiment, but there are a few in which the new musicians add interesting things to the already good music without changing the spirit of the song and because of this they release an album worth to buy.

Encores, Legends & Paradox is one of the last kind of Tribute albums, very good interpretations of ELP classics with attractive changes and a band full of excellent artists that really make an effort to release a different version of the original song respecting the author's creation.

Lets be honest, if it was only for the chance to listen 23 great musicians that include members from Yes, King Crimson, Dream Theater, Mahavishnu Orchestra, UK, etc, would be enough reason to buy the album, because guys like Jordan Rudess, John Wetton, Robert Berry, Igor Koroshev, Peter Banks, Trent Gardner and Erik Norlander among others surely have a lot of talent to provide, but it's not the only reason to take seriously this release because the quality of the music is outstanding and the performances are excellent in most cases, but lets check some songs:

Karn Evil 9 (Robert Berry/Simon Phillips/Jordan Rudess/Mark Wood): At a first impression may sound very similar to the original version, but the arrangement is totally different, even though is clearly progressive, the music has a classical Rock orientation. Emerson's keyboard performances are mostly inspired in the firm sound of early modern composers (mainly Russians), but in this album Jordan Rudess seems more baroque, almost like Rick Wakeman does in his solo albums. The mixture is very good.

Toccata (Trent Gardner/Pat Mastelotto/Peter Banks/Matt Guillory/Wayne Gardner): This song is absolutely different to the original version, probably faster (if this is possible) with a touch of Jazz Fusion. Mastelotto's drums are not as strong as Palmer's but perfect to the Fusion atmosphere.

Knife Edge (Robert Berry/ Simon Phillips/ Marc Bonilla/ Erik Norlander/ Glenn Hughes): The only song with Glenn Hughes as a vocalist, and of course has a Hard Rock orientation. Hughes voice is not as powerful as Lake's (at least in this track), and IMO is not the correct election for this song, Listen to the short guitar solo by Marc Bonilla, it's totally and absolutely delightful.

Hoedown (Robert Berry / Simon Phillips / Jerry Goodman / Jordan Rudess / Marc Bonilla): Great version, with a mixture of folk and Jazz, Jerry Goodman's violin plays a basic role in the song specially in the first part, when bass and guitar are added, the song gets that classic fusion sound, somehow similar to Mahavishnu.

The Sheriff (Trent Gardner / Mike Portnoy / John Wetton / Peter Banks / Mark Robertson / Wayne Gardner): Except for a few chords in the beginning of the song and Wetton's voice (very similar to Lake's), The Sheriff sounds as a different song, probably one of the weakest in the album because of Wetton's poppy singing in some parts of the track, as if he tried to sound like Greg Lake singing Invisible Touch instead of an ELP song, weak but still not totally bad.

The Barbarian (Robert Berry / Simon Phillips / Igor Koroshev): In this song, Igor Koroshev's contribution is very important, even though he respects the cold and firm style of Keith Emerson, he adds extra speed, some baroque chords and a little bit of life to the dark mood of the original version.

There's not much more to talk about it because Encores Legends & Paradox is a tribute and we know enough all the tracks, but I believe the work is well down and sometimes is nice to have a different perspective of the songs we know so well.

4 solid stars for an album that combines great artists, good taste and excellent performance, a rare tribute that's worth to buy.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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