Before they were metal, before Gillan and Glover, Deep Purple were on the edge of something deeply progressive. The album ‘Deep Purple’ was the last with the Mark 1 line-up, before Rod Evans and Nick Simper’s obvious lack of hard rock attitude would see them unemployed. With the album closer ‘April’ Jon Lord was starting in the direction that would lead to Concerto for Group and Orchestra.
Just so you and understand each other, let me be clear.
I Love Concerto for Group and Orchestra.
In fact, I think everyone should have to do a pretentious classical crossover album for their fourth or so. Labels shouldn’t be allowed to drop a band until they’ve recorded their Concerto album.
Anyway, I digress.
Lalena kind of sticks out in the catalogue of Jon Lord organ solos. it’s so mellow and bluesey. This isn’t an overdriven Marshall stack, highway start kind of sound. He uses a drawbar setting that’s somewhere around 486000000, it’s a sound along the lines of Paul Schaeffer’s solos in the Blues Brothers Band. Anytime you don’t have that first drawbar pulled fully out you’re in funkier territory.
Listen though, go on. A few times.
You’ve probably been underestimating Jon Lord, admit it. You didn’t think he was doing anything quite this tasteful.