Various Artists: Celebrating Jon Lord

Gone but not forgotten, a true Rock Legend.

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Back in April, Ian Paice led an all-star line-up including the Orion Orchestra into the Royal Albert Hall to pay tribute to Jon Lord: the man and musician.

That this one-off show lasts two-and-three-quarter hours, spread over one classical (The Composer) and two band CDs (The Rocker), but only scratches the surface of his musical legacy says much about Jon Lord the musician. (DVD versions add the fittingly titled Two Worlds documentary, too.)

There are star vocal turns throughout: Paul Weller on two Artwoods tracks; The Temperance Movement’s Phil Campbell reprising Tony Ashton on a couple of PAL numbers; Bruce Dickinson alongside Ian Gillan on the closing Deep Purple number Hush; and Steve Balsamo stunning on All Those Years Ago (with the orchestra).

But this night was always going to be about the keyboards. Nice work, Rick Wakeman – but take a bow, Don Airey, for cruising through the emotional and technical demands superbly./o:p

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.