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.

I recently got invited to a jam session in Bury featuring the legendary Mike Walker on guitar. He really is a special player with a wealth of ideas and inspiration, it was a pleasure to play with him and I managed to come through the whole affair without having my pants pulled down (metaphorically, you know).

Anyway, I was sent a bunch of videos of it and was blown away with the sound of my Crumar Mojo on them. You plug in at gigs and just take everyone’s word for it, ‘it sounds just like the real thing’, ‘it sounds amazing’ etc.

But anyway, I think it sounds just like the real thing. And it sounds amazing.

 

 

People will have no problem pointing you to fast, aggressive, distorted, screaming organ solos but it’s rare to hear one that’s such a dramatic, melodic and indispensable part of the song as this one. It’s at 1.34 on this video clip, but you’d be a fool to skip forward to that point and the whole thing would mean less if you did. You’d miss the gentle pause of the piano chords that precede it and snap you out of the song for just long enough to be fully re-engaged when this happens.

The organist in the Full Tilt boogie Band was Ken Pearson, he  went on to do quite a few albums with the McGarrigle sisters and a couple with Louden Wainwright III.

I always hoped I’d be able to put down an organ part that meant as much as this one.