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Carl Palmer - 'Decade: 10th Anniversary' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/61/0c/c8/carl-palmer-decade-10th-anniversary-68-1416865602.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 24, 2014    
 
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I would suggest this one for musicians and fanatical Carl Palmer followers only.

For the last few years Emerson, Lake & Palmer/Asia drummer Carl Palmer has been touring with his trio, playing versions of ELP classics arranged for guitar rather than the keyboard-led originals. He has so far released three live albums of instrumental versions and classical pieces that the band made their own, so it only stands to reason that a DVD would be forthcoming. Recorded in 2011 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, this show is exactly the same set I’d managed to catch on the U.K. leg of the tour, and with the same band of Palmer with guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick, so I knew exactly what to expect.

Without the vocals to hold your attention it’s up to Bielatowicz and Fitzpatrick to incorporate the vocal melodies into their playing, with Fitzpatrick in particular doing more of these on his six-string bass than you would expect, especially on opener ‘Welcome Back My Friends (Karn Evil 9 - 2nd Impression)’. There are several famous classical pieces in ‘Barbarian’, ‘Abadon’s Bolero’ and the longest pieces; ‘Karelia Suite’ and ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’, as well as ELP’s own compositions ‘Bitches Crystal’, ‘Tarkus’ and ‘Trilogy’, and whilst some pieces work better on guitar than others, it’s a brave move and the playing is exemplary from all concerned. Both sidemen get their own solo spots in ‘The ‘J’ Section’ and Palmer himself provides a jaw-dropping solo on the otherwise disappointing ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’, but some may find it all a bit hard going and downbeat with only the whimsical ‘Hoedown’ and ‘Nutrocker’ to lighten the mood.

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Visually the presentation is a bit dull, with unadventurous lighting, some blurred pictures and the odd bit of accompanying film, but as the focus of the music is on the musicianship, it doesn’t detract so much and you can’t help but be impressed with Palmer and his talented young band. There are short interviews with all three of them, Palmer explaining a little about the songs and Bielatowicz and Kirkpatrick about the challenge of adding their own personalities to such iconic tunes. I would suggest this one for musicians and fanatical Carl Palmer followers only.

Phil Ashcroft

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