Jon Lord

Gemini Suite

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After the cold reception of his first orchestral release, Jon Lord wisely decided to disassociate such work from the Deep Purple name -- even though the lineup here is largely the same. Those who enjoyed "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" will find even more to love here, while the many Deep Purple fans who didn't care for "Concerto" will probably remain unimpressed. Still, even though "Concerto" saw listeners suffering through orchestral noodling for a few minutes of ass-kicking rock, this time around the band and orchestra are better integrated. The first movement contains an eminently sample-worthy bit of ice-cool jazz in a drum roll and walking bassline by Paice and Glover before descending into brittle percussive piano soloing, while the third movement has some wonderfully dissonant bass soloing over the brass and percussion sections by Glover. And in a goofy but appropriate period touch, the London Symphony Orchestra members are listed by their astrological signs, rather than by "woodwinds" or "strings."

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