Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Live in Poland

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These tracks have been issued under a number of titles, however the contents remain the same, a June 1997 performance from prog rock supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP), not long before they took an extended hiatus from touring or recording together. The track list reveals the band heavily favoring their early titles, perhaps due, at least in part, to the trio's concurrent launch of their remastered CD catalog. While the vast majority of the set is fairly predictable in terms of song selection, ELP do throw a few curves, most notably the Tarkus (1972) deep cut "Bitches Crystal," as well as "Touch And Go." The latter originates from the one-off Emerson, Lake and Powell project with Cozy Powell (drums) in for Carl Palmer. However, even the 'oldies' have been given re-arrangements, some of which are subtle, while others would be evident even to the casual listener. Among the more blatant are the slight amendments to the "Tarkus" suite, which work in a medley with "Pictures At An Exhibition." The other somewhat conventional material such as the "Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Pt. 2" opener, "Lucky Man," "From The Beginning," and "Take A Pebble" are far from being rote interpretations, as the combo thoughtfully and diligently weave throughout the multi-layered melodies and tricky timing. Particularly inventive are Keith Emerson's blend of intricate keyboard runs on "Piano Solo," as he deftly displays his uncanny knack for improvising jazzy riffs and impossibly complex fingering tasks throughout "From The Beginning," and the "Fanfare For A Common Man/Rondo" epic that wraps up this collection. While casual and burgeoning enthusiasts who have not heard the Ladies & Gentlemen (Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends)(1974) concert collection would be well-served to do so, Live In Poland is otherwise recommended and suggested listening for the initiated.

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