Jon Lord is best remembered by rock fans as the keyboard player from Deep Purple. His Hammond Organ sound was a key part of Deep Purple’s music, but he was far more than just an ordinary keyboard player – he was a composer too. By composer I don”t mean he wrote a few little keyboard fills or solos – he did far more than that and created the “Concerto for group and orchestra”, a groundbreaking album that saw Deep Purple perform alongside an orchestra. While many bands now have performed their songs with an orchestra alongside them, “Concerto for group and orchestra” was very different since it wasn’t a case of a rock band playing rock songs with an orchestra adding their input, this was a piece of music that blended rock and classical music to an unprecedented degree.
“Gemini suite” was Jon Lord’s follow-up to “Concerto for group and orchestra” and was first performed in 1970 at the Royal Festival Hall before being recorded the following year featuring the London symphony orchestra and musicians Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Yvonne Elliman, Albert Lee and Tony AShton.
This 2016 reissue is the first in a series of Jon Lord re-issues and whas been remastered from the original stereo mixes recorded at Abbey Road.
While I mainly listen to rock, blues or metal, I do listen to classical music too, and listening to this album it really is impressive how Jon Lord managed to fuse the worlds of Classical and Rock together. This is music where it’s hard to see where classical ends and rock begins as it’s so well done.
In Gemini suite, Jon Lord has taken an instrument at a time to feature, so in the six pieces of music, one focusses on the guitar, one on piano, one on the organ, one on the bass guitar, one on drums and one on vocals. It’s an interesting way to do it, and differs from Concerto for group and orchestra which featured an entire band rather than individual instruments. It also means each piece of music has it’s own character.
Gemini suite is an album that some rock fans won’t be keen on – there’s such a large element of classical music in it that it might put some people off, but classical music lovers are likely to find this of great interest, and anyone who enjoys both classical and rock music is sure to love this release.
An excellent album that demonstrates Jon Lord’s talents not just as a keyboard player, but also as a great composer.
Gemini suite (2016 reissue) will be released on 9th December 2016
1. Guitar: Soloist Albert Lee
2. Piano: SoloistJon Lord
3. Drums: Soloist Ian Paice
4. Vocals: Soloist Yvonne Elliman / Tony Ashton
5. Bass guitar: Soloist Roger Glover
6. Organ: Soloist Jon Lord