Jon Lord – Beyond The Notes (2004)

FrontCover1Beyond the Notes is a studio album by former Deep Purple keyboard player Jon Lord, released in 2004. It features guest appearances from Frida Lyngstad, Sam Brown, Miller Anderson, Thijs van Leer, Pete York, and Trondheim Soloists.

Organist Jon Lord supposedly left Deep Purple to retire and take it easy, after he’d spent much of his life recording and touring the world with Purple and other artists. But upon his exit from the band, Lord played gigs and issued albums on his own, such as 2004’s Beyond the Notes. The split provided Lord with the opportunity to pursue some unexpected musical avenues, as the album sees a detour into soothing classical music. Gone is the blaring guitar through Marshall stacks and Lord’s overdriven organ rocking back and forth — in its place is the jazzy sound of “Cologne Again” a lovely piano ballad, and the string-heavy album closer, “Music for Miriam.” While it’s not unheard of for a rock musician to take the orchestral plunge, Beyond the Notes is one of the few instances where it works surprisingly well and doesn’t come off as a mere detour.(by Greg Prato)

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‘Jon Lord is addicted to harmony. Leaving Deep Purple meant leaving his best friends and a life that’s “a bubble, a support system”, as he himself puts it.

But putting an end to compromises did a world of good to keyboarder and composer Jon Lord. His latest album “Beyond The Notes” is the best proof of this. A free spirit blows through the ten tracks of the album. Pavanes and pop songs are peopled by musicians from drummer to violinist, from a rock band to members of a string orchestra. Oriental rhythms pushing classical melodies forward.

Jon Lord takes things seriously. Until he discovers something that does make him smile. “I call it ‘Jon Lord music’. I think the Americans have a label for it – they call it ‘classical cross-over’. So I’m going to call it ‘crossical class-over’. There’s elements of what I love out of orchestral music and there’s elements of what I love out of jazz, and what I love out
of folk music and rock music. And you throw it all in and that’s how you make the cake and experiment.”

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If you watch him at work in the studio, you quickly realise: Jon Lord loves people. He loves the 16 string players of the Trondheim Soloists just as much as his guitarist Paul Shigihara, keyboarder Matthias Krauss, bass player Urs Fuchs, and songstress Sabine von Baaren. He is friends with co-producer Mario Argandona, with songstress Sam Brown, and guest vocalist Miller Anderson. And of course he’s friends with Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Anni who? Frida. Frida of Abba. Jon Lord wrote “The Sun Will Shine Again” for the Swedish lady.

“We became friends a few years ago. And once we’d become friends, she actually asked me if I’d write a song for her. Easier said than done. When you’ve got a voice that is that specific and that glorious. So, I took about three years doing it, and only really found the right song just a few months ago and played it to her and luckily, she liked it.”

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Jon Lord is sitting in an easy chair. His long white hair is held by a ponytail and an equally white beard surrounds his face. The eyes of this humorous man often wander off, rather bridging time than space. He thinks a lot about his past, his life – something that also results in “Beyond The Notes”. “A Smile When I Shook His Hand” is his tribute to the late George Harrison. “George Harrison was a very, very close friend for many years and
one of those losses that are really hard to deal with. I miss him a great deal. The track is about the lightness and happiness I got from knowing that man.”

Tony Ashton is another close friend whose loss Jon Lord had to face recently. To Jon Lord, this keyboarder, vocalist, and painter was like a brother. “I’ll Send You A Postcard” is Jon’s musical memorial for his friend.

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“Music For Miriam” was written in 1995, the day after the death of Jon Lord’s mother. This spontaneous composition was then performed during her funeral by a string quartet and was already released on the album “Pictured Within”. Now, Jon Lord has rearranged this beautiful elegy. In a big orchestral arrangement, his mother’s character seems to be better represented.

And another track serves coming to terms with the past: “De Profundis”, “DP”, treats his separation from Deep Purple. Is music a kind of therapy? Jon Lord laughs. It certainly is a way to help him make a new start.

Even though it seems easier to him to compose sad songs, Jon Lord hasn’t lost his smile. “Telemann Experiment” is the best example for this: a serious piece of music at heart, Jon Lord here combines the style of the German Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) with a Swedish polka.

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The fact that “Beyond The Notes” was recorded in Germany underlines the artist’s wish to tread new, own paths. Instead of working in one of the halls of fame of British music, Jon Lord chose the Hansa Haus Studios in Bonn, where he recorded his new album in June and July 2004.

“I lived down in Munich for a few months toward the end of the 70s. And I’ve always enjoyed the country. It seems to have taken me to its heart in a way that it understands that I’m not ‘just’ the keyboard player of Deep Purple, but that I have other musical aspirations outside of that, and this country seems to have understood that better than most.” (by deep-purple.net)

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Personnel:
Emilia Amper (nyckel harpe)
Mario Argandona (percussion, drums, background vocals)
Sabine van Baaren (background vocals)
Urs Fuchs (bass)
Michael Heupel (flute)
Matthias Krauss (keyboards)
Thijs van Leer (flute)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Andy Miles (clarinet)
Paul Shigihara (guitar)
Gerhard Vetter (oboe)
Pete York (drums)
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Miller Anderson (vocals on 08.)
Sam Brown (vocals on 03.)
Frida (vocals on 06.)
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The Vocaleros (background vocals)
Cologne String Ensemble under the direction of Albert Jung
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Trondheim Soloists

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Tracklist:
01. Miles Away 7.42
02. De Profundis 7.22
03. One From The Meadow (8:14)
04. Cologne Again 6.47
05. I’ll Send You A Postcard (Pavane for Tony Ashton) 6.57
06. The Sun Will Shine Again 4.24
07. A Smile When I Shook His Hand (In Memorian George Harrison) 7.31
08. November Calls 5.03
09. The Telemann Experiment 7.08
10. Music For Miriam (Version for String Orchestra) 8.05

All songs composed by Jon Lord. All lyrics by Sam Brown, except “November Calls” by Jon Lord

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Various Artists – Celebrating Jon Lord – The Composer (2014)

FrontCover1Jon Lord is remembered as the founder of Deep Purple and one of the seminal rock keyboardists of all time. But Lord was also a respected composer, something he pursued alongside and throughout his tenure in Deep Purple. His untimely death in 2012 from a pulmonary embolism cut short a stellar career that was much richer than many realize.
With this album, Lord gets his due. An impressive cast of characters came together to perform select works live in the Royal Albert Hall. The result is something best described as cinematic. As individual pieces, the drama, energy, and emotion shines through. As a live concert it is a wonderful celebration of one man’s life work. (by innocentwords.com)

The passing of Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord in 2012 was sad for the obvious reasons, but also because he was about to release a just finished re-imagining of his “Concerto for Group and Orchestra,” a piece Deep Purple first played live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969, and one that is often cited as the first true meeting of classical and rock. Lord was a big part of the heavy orchestral prog rock sound of Deep Purple, and he could rock when needed, or take center stage and play pretty as the soundtrack for a majestic autumn wind. He played with other bands as time went on, including Whitesnake, but in his later years he increasingly pursued his aspirations as a classical composer.

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Which brings us to this set, one of two volumes derived from a historic tribute concert held April 4, 2014 at Royal Albert Hall that marked the 45th anniversary of when Lord’s “Concerto for Group and Orchestra” first debuted there. Surviving members of Deep Purple were on hand for the tribute, as well as Paul Weller, Whitesnake’s Micky Moody, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and many others, including the Orion Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann. The evening opened with a classical set from the orchestra, which is what we have here, then went to a more rock-oriented second act, before concluding with a set by Deep Purple — the rock and Deep Purple portions of the evening are available as Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend, the other volume of this tribute set.

Among the highlights of this opening classical portion are the majestic “Fantasia” (from Sarabande), complete with horns, and a beautiful “All Those Years Ago,” which features vocals from Micky Moody and illustrates just how much vision Lord really had for a classical/rock fusion, and in retrospect, how Deep Purple personified that vision. (by Steve Leggett)

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Personnel:
Miller Anderson (vocals on 04.)
Mario Argandoña (percussion on 01., 04., 06. + 07.)
Steve Balsamo (vocals on 03.)
Matthew Barley (cello on 02.; =$:)
Jerry Brown (drums on 01., 05. + 07.)
Margo Buchanan (vocals on 06.)
Murray Gould (guitar on 01., 05. + 07.)
Nigel Hopkins (piano on 01., 03.  05. + 07.,  organ on 02.)
Jeremy Irons (speaker on 08.)
Paul Mann (piano on 08.)
Jacqueline Martens (violin on 02.)
Micky Moody (guitar on 03.)
Darragh Morgan (violin on 06.)
Neil Murray (bass on 01., 05. + 07.)
Anna Phoebe (violin on 03.)
Kathryn Tickell (pipe om 02.)
Rick Wakeman (synthesizer on 05.)
Wix Wickens (keyboards on 01. + 07. piano on 06. )
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The Orion Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann

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Tracklist:
01. Fantasia (from Sarabande) (Lord) 4.14
02. Durham Awakes (from Durham Concerto) (Lord) 8.54
03. All Those Years Ago (Lord/Balsamo) 6:47
04. Pictured Within (Lord) 9.09
05. Sarabande (Lord) 8.36
06. One From The Meadow (Lord/Brown) 9.58
07. Bourrée (from Sarabande) 7.22
08. Afterwards (Lord/Hardy) 4.20
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Jon Lord – Pictured Within (1997)

FrontCover1Pictured Within was the first studio album from Deep Purple’s Jon Lord in sixteen years. It features performances from Sam Brown, Miller Anderson, Pete York and Thijs van Leer among others. Pictured Within was released in October 1998 by Virgin Classics. “Wait a While”, one of the few non-instrumental tracks off the album, performed by Sam Brown, was issued as a single in 1999. In addition, Jon Lord played a short tour of Germany in May 1999 to promote the album. (by wikipüedia)

Pictured Within is an ambitious project from Jon Lord inspired by classical music. Most of the album is instrumental and orchestral, with the occasional choral voices gracing the lush symphonic textures. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Jon’s solo CD “Pictured Within” (1997) showed a return to a more piano-based and gentler style and was released to great critical acclaim. Jon rarely wrote lyrics but he did for the title track and it has developed into a favourite with both his fans and himself. The album was deeply inspired by Jon’s loss of his parents and deals with grief and the feelings connected to loss of loved ones. (by avie-records.com)

A masterpiece !

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Personnel:
Miller Anderson (vocals)
Mario Argandona (percussion, background vocals)
Sabine Van Baaren (background vocals)
Sam Brown (vocals)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass)
Rick Keller (saxophone)
Haagen Kuhr (cello)
Thijs Van Leer (flute)
Jon Lord (piano)
Christina Lux-York (background vocals)
Serge Mailiard (background vocals)
Stefan Pintev (violin)
Ravi (kora)
Rodrigo Reichel (violin)
Mike Routledge (viola)
Stefan Scheuss (background vocals)
Vytas Sondeckis (cello)
Ina Stock (oboe, cor Anglais)
Frank Struck (french horn)
Pete York (percussion)

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Tracklist:

Part 1 – The Valley:
01. Sunrise 5.47 (5:47)
02. Pictured Within 5.22
03. From the Windmill 6.55

Part 2 – Blue Sky Dreams:
04. Circles Of Stone 2.24
05. Menorca Blue 4.10
06. Evening Song 8.00

Part 3 – Of Heroes And Heroines:
07. Music For Miriam 4.48
08. Arc-En-Ciel 4.29
09. Wait A While 5.57

Part 4 – Beneath A Higher Heaven:
10. Crystal Spa (Kyrie Eleison) 14.40
11.The Mountain-Sunset 5.24
12. A Different Sky 6.49

All music composed by Jon Lord
Lyrics by Jon Lord (“Pictured Within”) and Sam Brown (“Evening Song”, “Wait A While”)
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Jon Lord And Rick Wakeman – Sunflower Jam (2011)

FrontCover1The Sunflower Jam 2011 will be remembered for one of Jon Lord’s most rewarding appearances of 2011 – musically daring and performed with sharp excellence.

On an evening already rife with musical talent, Jon Lord shared the stage with Rick Wakeman for the pair’s brand new composition It’s Not As Big As It Was (allegedly about the music biz although it was preceeded by jokes about old age and prostate problems). This was without a doubt The Sunflower Jam’s musical crown jewel benefitting the good cause of helping children suffering from cancer. Donations are still welcome.

This is Rasmus Heide’s report:

ConcertPosterJon Lord appears onstage after almost an hour of excellent music from the likes of Danny Bowes (Thunder), Gary Brooker, Joe Bonamassa and Newton Faulkner. These gentlemen (and woman) have entertained the crowd with blues and rock classics that fare very well, particularly Gary Brooker’s rendition of A Whiter Shade of Pale and Joe Bonamassa’s Thrill is Gone. However, Jon will proceed to seize the show and push up the excitement level several  notches.

“One of the greatest keyboardists in rock’n’roll, Mr. Jon Lord!” Joe Bonamassa introduces the maestro and kicks off a slowly evolving Ballad of John Henry. Bonamassa’s bluesrock signature tune is the perfect choice for the two masters to pool their forces. Building its riff to a roar before dipping to the verse – and then lifting itself up to the menacing chorus, Jon’s swirling Hammond backdrop has touhes of the quietly contemplative work he did for the band Ride some years ago.

LordBonamassaJon Lord + Joe Bonamassa

Standing at the edge of the stage – having pushed the organ chair to a side – Jon is in great shape and form; focused and well prepared for what will turn into an absolute musical feast celebrating almost every aspect of his musical prowess – and in the stately old Royal Albert Hall where his work first came to prominence in 1969 – and again in 1999.

Live01AJon Lord + Joe Bonamassa

Bonamassa’s John Henry is taken down to a shimmer and Bonamassa steps up to the theremin to make it squeal eerily to the fascinated crowd – until Jon Lord gently takes over. His solo is stormy and intense, developing to a massive Hammond crescendo full of his trademark wails and runs. Bonamassa moves closer and teases Jon into a guitar-organ chase the likes of which we’ve not heard for nearly 20 years… Majestic and spine-shivering.

Thanking Bonamassa, Jon introduces the next piece as Bourree from his Sarabande album. The contrast is tangible. With the evening’s musical director Paul Wickens on synthesizer, Jon handles piano and then Hammond for the solo. Anna Phoebe adds a particularly mean solo violin to the piece, expanding again the range of musical flavours of an already boundary pushing evening.

JonLord+RickWakeman01Jon Lord + Rick Wakeman

“I’ve got a big ask of you. Not a big ass – although it used to be bigger – but a big ask. Into every show a quiet song must fall,” explains Jon Lord before presenting ”the rather wonderful” Steve Balsamo to sing Jon’s most popular solo piece. Balsamo delivers a particularly tender and confident Pictured Within – in his element, gazing out at the crowd, inspiring pin drop silence. Lacking the sweeping string section of its standard orchestral arrangement, in its place Anna Phoebe displays immaculate delicatesse on her fiddle. The piece is a gorgeous contrast to the previous rackets and again, Jon Lord’s musicality proves its extraordinary range.

RickWakeman01Lord-Wakeman’s world premiere:
Warm hugs are exchanged as Jon introduces Rick Wakeman as “a new old friend. I’ve known this guy since God’s dog was a puppy, but never quite got to know him. The rather unique Rick Wakeman.”

Rick disspells any pretentiousness by cracking a joke about his own sexual debut behind the Royal Albert Hall (“It wasn’t very good. It never is when you’re on your own!”). His first piece is Beatles‘ Eleanor Rigby played by himself Prokofiev-style on bombastic, staccato synth layered with effects.

Then he invites Jon Lord back onstage. “Last Wednesday Jon and I met down at the old folk’s home…,” quips Wakeman as an introduction to the evening’s musical world premiere. Unable to decide which of their own pieces to do together, they decided instead to write a new piece together. The couple share the microphone for this introduction and a bit of smart repartee. All good fun.

Then the musical fun. A stomping, blistering, bombastic band work-out stacked high with soaring keyboards including solos for Hammond organ (Jon) and Mini Moog (Rick). It’s Not As Big As It Was is everything prog anyone could have wished for – and a wee bit more.  Wakeman’s bank of keyboards on the right side of the stage, Jon’s Hammond near the edge on the left, the cameras zoom in to show the finger work on the big screen above the stage.

Live04Murray Gould does a short guitar solo, but apart from this, Micky Moody (rhythm guitar), Jerry Brown (drums) and Nick Fyffe (bass) put down a firm foundation for the two protagonists to excel over. And excel they do for around 7 minutes or so. Jon hand signals the band into the various sections, seemingly without need as everyone nails the piece effortlessly.

Afterwards,  Wakeman says how excellent it is to work with Jon and promises more to come. Next up is a rendition of David Bowie’s  Life on Mars with Newton Faulkner on vocals, Jon Lord on Hammond and Wakeman on piano – and the house band. This epic song rounds off the evening’s first 2 hours of music. (taken from the Jon Lord website)

Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, 07/08/2011
A very good audience recording

Live02APersonnel:
Joe Bonamassa (guitar)
Newton Faulkner (vocals)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Anna Phoebe (violin)
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The Sunflower Band:
Jerry Brown (drums)
Nick Fyffe (bass)
Murray Gould (guitar)
Micky Moody (guitar)
Paul Wickens (keyboards)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Who Killed John Henry (Bonamassa) (Joe Bonamassa, Jon Lord, Sunflower Band) 9.41
02 Bouree (Lord) (Jon Lord, Anna Phoebe, Sunflower Band) 6.25
03 Pictured Within (Lord) (Jon Lord, Steve Balsamo, Anna Phoebe, Paul Wickens) 7.25
04 Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) (Rick Wakeman) 7.11
05 It’s Not As Big As It Was (Lord/Wakeman) (Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman, Sunflower Band) 9.02
06 Life On Mars (Bowie) (Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman, Newton Faulkner, Anna Phoebe, Sunflower Band) 6.34

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Ashton, Gardner & Dyke – The Last Rebel (OST) (1971)

OriginalFrontCover1In 1970, Ashton, Gardner & Dyke somehow ended up supplying the soundtrack music to an obscure Western starring football star Joe Namath. Also important to the soundtrack’s composition and performance was Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, who co-wrote the score with Tony Ashton and shared keyboard parts with Ashton as well. Like many soundtracks, it’s a jumble of pieces that might have served adequately as background music to specific scenes, but doesn’t sustain much interest for a record listener. The musicians tap into a wide variety of styles and moods, mostly instrumental with occasional vocals, from good-time laid-back bar band boogie and dramatic pseudo-spaghetti Western orchestrations to atonal keyboard patterns, tedious hard rock-funk, and Latin cocktail jazz with bizarre scatting. The individual tracks, though, are neither too good on their own, or too similar to each other, failing to create an inviting mood. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Screenshot from “The Last Rebel”

Jon Lord was the keyboard player with Deep Purple, and is renowned as one of the best Hammond organists to come out of the UK. While Deep Purple played rock, this album features some unbelievable way-out funk! Really odd prog-influenced, wah guitar horns and massive breaks. Look out for the killer old-school funk cut ‘Hanging’, and the wicked breaks of The Last Rebel. Definitely an oddball LP – there’s a heavy dose of strangeness lurking in the arrangements – but a worthy addition to a funk soundtrack collection, and a producer’s dream. I’m still in shock after listening to it.” (by Ed Griffiths)

OriginalBackCoverPersonnel:
Tony Ashton (keyboards, vocals)
Roy Dyke (drums)
Kim Gardner (bass)
Mick Liber (guitar)
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Jon Lord (keyboards)
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The Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. The Last Rebel (Lord) 2.58
02. Surrender (Unedited) (Lord) 3.04
03. Up The Hill (Lord) 2.52
04. Hanging (Lord) 3.32
05. Stage Coach Ride (Unedited Version) (Ashton) 3.50
06. You Me And A Friend Of Mine (Instrumental) (Lord/Ashton) 1.22
07. Mood Xylophone (Lord) 2.35
08. Oh Matilda (Unedited Version) (Ashton) 3.19
09. Pool Game (Unedited Version) (Lord) 5.41
10. Hollis’ Getaway (Lord)    3:22
11. Mother & Daughter (Lord) 1.18
12. The Meal (Lord) 1.03
13. String Quartet (Unreleased) (Lord) 0.39
14. Ku Klux Klan (Unreleased) (Lord) 1.36
15. The Pit & The Knife Fight (Lord) 3.01
16. You, Me And A Friend Of Mine (Lord/Ashton) 3.39
17. Death Whore (Lord) 1.24
18. Graves To The Graveyard (Lord) 3.39
19. I’m Dying For You (Ashton) 2.22
20. You, Me And A Friend Of Mine (Alternate Instrumental Version) (Lord/Ashton) 1.23
21. Larry’s Theme (Not Used In Film) (Lord/Ashton) 1.10
22. Pool Game (Not Used In Film) (Ashton) 3.30
23. The Last Rebel (Alternate Unedited Take) (Lord) 3.22
24. Hollis’s Getaway (Outtake) (Lord) 2.58
25. Pianola Shot (Unreleased) (Lord) 1.25
26. I’m Dying For You (Outtake) (Ashton) 2.45
27. Hanging (Outtake) (Lord) 3.19
28. The Meal (Studio Chat) (Lord) 1.25
29. Up The Hill (Outtake) (Lord) 5.24

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