Hum, so how can I plead this? I’m old and out of touch with rock music? Since I really didn’t really like the bands of the 80’s and 90’s including groups like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Aerosmith, most of my music listening was directed toward folk, blues, and bluegrass? I guess there some legitimate reasons for not recognizing the name Jon Lord when I saw the Jon Lord Blues Project-Live on the Roots Music Report Blues chart the other day! But one listen to the first track Jimmy Smith’s “Back at the Chicken Shack” and I knew that Jon Lord played a mean Hammond B3 organ! So when I came home yesterday after my run and look up Jon Lord I discovered that lo and behold he was a founding member along with Richie Blackmore of Deep Purple!!!
Now Deep Purple was always one of those radio bands you know you always heard “Hush” and “Smoke on the Water” but I never bought any of their albums, now my sons they know better and probably have all their albums! Along with discovering about Jon Lord and his career which includes not only his membership in Deep Purple, and Whitesnake, but as a composer of classical music, came sadness when I discovered that Lord passed away this July after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
The album was recorded live at Rottweil Jazzfestival on May 14, 2011 and features classic blues songs written by Willie Dixon (“Hoochie Coochie Man”) and Robert Johnson (“Walkin’ Blues”) as well as more contemporary compositions by Deep Purple, (“Lazy”) Free and Tom Waits(“Way Down In The Hole”).
I’m listening now to a great track “Fog On The Highway” written by band member Miller Anderson.
The members of the Jon Lord Blues Project include:
Jon Lord: Hammond organ
Miller Anderson: guitar and vocals
Maggie Bell: vocals
Colin Hodgkinson: bass and vocals
Zoot Money: keyboards and vocals
Pete York: Drums
The album closes with a great cover of Stevie Winwood’s classic from his days in the Spencer Davis Group “I’m A Man”. Overall this is one of my favorite albums of the year and I’m going to be listening to Jon Lord’s Hammond B3 organ a lot over the next few months and hopefully discovering more of his great work! Just a note from Jon Lord’s website the Blues Project had announced many tour dates prior to Jon’s death and Hammond organist Brian Auger has signed on to play these gigs.
I am also looking forward to exploring the reissue of Deep Purple’s 1969 Concerto for Group and Orchestra which features the Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann and special guests on vocals, guitar, bass and drums.Special guests will include: Joe Bonamassa – guitar, Steve Morse – guitar,Darin Vasilev – guitar, Bruce Dickinson – vocals, Steve Balsamo – vocals,Kasia Laska – vocals, Guy Pratt – bass and Brett Morgan – drums. You can read a review here
Here’s a live performance of “Lazy” from the 2011 Rottweil Jazzfestival