Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Remembering Jon Lord.

In honor of the late, great Jon Lord, here's an original cut from the epochal Deep Purple album, In Rock. It isn't heard as often as "Child In Time," off the same album, but it's hard to find a better showcase for the musical elements that made this group's second lineup (Mark II) so very memorable.

I saw Deep Purple perform at the soccer stadium in Kosice, Czechoslovakia in the fall of 1991. Singer Ian Gillan was not on board at the time, replaced temporarily by the serviceable journeyman Joe Lynn Turner, but Lord and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore were in fine form, and the rhythm section of Roger Glover (bass) and Ian Paice (drums) shook the adjacent rabbit hutch high rises.

What I remember most from this 1991 experience is something I surely would have failed to notice at a live show during the days of my earlier youth, when Deep Purple ruled the rock world. The classically trained Lord consistently interjected classical quotations during his numerous solo opportunities, but not just the random Bach and Beethoven snippets.

Rather, Lord's embellishments (at least, the ones I caught) were drawn from Smetana and Dvorak, heroes of the Czechoslovak orchestral tradition. It is an understatement to note that the crowd appreciated the gesture.

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