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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Keith Emerson and Greg Lake

Live from Manticore Hall

Review by Gary Hill

This live recording features Keith Emerson and Greg Lake doing ELP songs (and a little more). The duo is accompanied by loops at times and a drum machine. That drum machine sounds better than one might think, though. I like the intimacy and immediacy brought to some of the pieces as they are reimagined. No, this isn’t exactly and Emerson, Lake and Palmer live album. Why should it be, though? It’s still pretty great and it’s never billed as ELP.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
From the Beginning

I really like this version of the classic song a lot. Lake’s voice is in fine form and his guitar sounds great. Emerson, of course, seriously delivers, too.

Introduction
This is a spoken section explaining the background for the show.
I Talk to the Wind
Here they have a go at a song Lake sang in King Crimson. I love what Emerson’s piano does on this. This seems slow, but it’s also powerful.
Bitches Crystal
This time they are back in ELP territory. This jazzy jam works pretty well in this telling. Emerson really gets plenty of opportunities to jam on this.
The Barbarian
n the introduction to this tune, it’s explained that it’s based on Bela Bartok. It’s specifically “Allegro Barbaro.” It is, as is also alluded to on that introduction, an infectious melody and this version is great.
Take a Pebble
I have always loved this piece. This duo rendering is great. It’s one of my favorites here.
Tarkus
Starting with piano, this is an epic piece. It has some real magic within. This number works quite well in this format. I love the emotion of the vocals and the musical sections are potent, too. It gets a more full band treatment later.
C'est La Vie
I’ve always loved this pretty balladic number. This rendition is great.
Pirates
Although I’m not overly convinced on the theatrical introductory section, this turns out into a powerhouse jam that’s extremely cool. It’s definitely another epic and it covers a lot of musical territory before they take it to its close.
Moog Solo / Lucky Man
This keyboard solo is pretty cool. It leads into a stirring rendition of the ELP classic.
 
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