Carl Palmer is the final living member of the legendary prog group Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Prior to the untimely passing of both Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, Palmer formed a power trio called Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy. Not only do they play many classic ELP tracks but also ELP related material as well. In addition to Palmer on drums he is joined by Simon Fitzpatrick on guitar and Paul Bielatowicz on bass. As you know, that’s a bit of a difference from ELP’s configuration.
Replacing Emerson’s trademark keys with guitar is definitely a bold move. But isn’t that what ELP was all about? On their new live album, the trio have one show from 2014 on CD and another show from 2016 on DVD. I love this because too often, artists just release one show on both formats. While there’s some overlap in the setlist, it’s minimal which is also very cool.
Palmer still sounds incredible. Drumming is a young man’s game but it’s clear from each show that he has lost nothing over the years. This is VERY challenging material and he plays each part that he wrote as a young man perfectly. Bielatowicz fills in for Lake quite nicely and almost makes sure that there are no gaps in the sound. Fitzpatrick has the most daunting task of replicating Emerson’s keyboard virtuosity on guitar. And yes it does it!
I’ll admit it’s strange to hear classics like “Tarkus” and “Karn Evil 9” with a guitar in place of the keys but in other spots like their cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” and even “Knife-Edge” sounds just fine. The DVD was intended to have Emerson as a guest performer but he took his own life before the show happened. So this show became a tribute to him. The end of the set has a notable appearance by Steve Hackett.
As you all know, I’m not a big fan of live albums. It seems like lately that’s all I am getting to review! But this package is very interesting and well done. These versions won’t ever replace the originals. But it’s interesting to hear all of these songs done as instrumentals in a classic power trio format. It not only shows the timelessness of the songs and the talent of the band but also the vision of Carl Palmer as well. This is a fitting tribute to his fallen bandmates and hopefully Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy will keep that legacy alive going forward! Highly recommended for all ELP fans!
CD: TRALF MUSIC HALL BUFFALO, NEW YORK, U.S.A., 25TH NOVEMBER 2014
1. Rondeau Des Indes Galantes / Ride Of The Valkyries
2. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
3. Mars, The God Of War / 21st Century Schizoid Man
4. Tarkus (Full Version)
7. Trilogy (Short Version)
DVD: PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION – A TRIBUTE TO KEITH EMERSON. OLYMPIA THEATER,
MIAMI, FLORIDA, U.S.A., 24TH JUNE 2016. SPECIAL GUESTS: STEVE HACKETT, MARK STEIN & DAVID FRANGIONI
2. Peter Gunn
3. Karn Evil 9 (Welcome Back My Friends)
4. The Barbarian
5. Bitches Crystal
7. Romeo & Juliet
8. 21st Century Schizoid Man
9. Clair De Lune
12. Take A Pebble
13. Carmina Burana
14. Pictures At An Exhibition
15. Fanfare For The Common Man / Drum Solo
Release Date: 29 June 2018