Still saddened by the death of one of the worlds finest keyboardists, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, who passed away on 16 July 2012. In the 60’s and 70’s there was an emergence of great keyboard players. Tony Kaye, Patrick Moraz, Geoff Downes, Steve Winwood and others. But in my opinion there was a great triumvirate at the top of the rock keyboardist heap which consisted of Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Jon Lord.
While Emerson and Wakeman were combining classical music and rock to create the genre known as “progressive rock”, Jon was incorporating the Hammond organ into hard rock and not as a backing instrument. Jon’s fast and furious solo’s brought the organ front and center, right along Ritchie Blackmore’s lead guitar. Listen to Deep Purple’s “Hush”. Nobody played the organ like that before or since.
Jon also forayed into classical music with his “Concerto for Group & Orchestra” which has been performed twice at Royal Albert Hall. Once in 1969 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Deep Purple and in 1999 when the London Symphony Orchestra and, again, with Deep Purple.
Jon retired from Deep Purple in 2002 and continued a solo career in both classical and blues music. The BBC recently released an interview conducted before Jon’s death featuring Rick Wakeman, Ritchie Blackmore and Jon. The link follows:
You can also read more about this great musician at his official website JonLord.org
In today’s world of music sampling, dubbing and turning out one mainstream song after another musicians of Jon’s talent and stature are few and far between. The world is poorer at his passing…