On August 23, Eagle Rock Entertainment will re-release longtime Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord’s 1976 orchestral Sarabande album. A delectable slice of exotica, Sarabande is the culmination of Lord’s fascination with symphonic rock over the previous eight years. As his third solo album, Lord, with the help of the Hungarian Philharmonic as directed by Eberhard Schoener, crafts an intricate and complex all-instrumental web of musical adventure. [MSRP $13.98]
The eight tracks—“Fantasia,” “Sarabande,” “Aria,” “Gigue,” “Bouree,” “Pavane,” “Caprice” and “Finale”—clock in at 50 minutes with “Gigue” and “Bouree” each over 11 minutes long. “Bouree,” a Lord original, is not to be confused with Bach’s similarly titled piece. "I wrote that while living in America,” Lord told a Romanian journalist in Bucharest 2009. “It was inspired by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok’s `Romanian Dances.’” (The original bouree was a dance popular in Spain in the 17th Century.) (Mike found this online) “Gigue” is the most “rock” of the cuts, featuring a sizzling electric guitar solo over a rampaging rhythm track. “Pavane” contains a beautiful Spanish-styled acoustic guitar intro before Lord comes in with a bluesy yet softly meditative piano. “Finale” ends things in slam-band style, the orchestra firing on all cylinders.
Musicians used on Sarabande include bassist Paul Karass, percussionist Mark Nauseef, guitarist Andy Summers (prior to forming The Police) and drummer Pete York. Lord, who co-produced the album with Martin Birch, plays the Hammond B-3 organ, piano, clavinet and synthesizer.
The album was recorded between September 3 and 6 at the Stadthalle Oer-Erkenschwick in a small town near Dusseldorf in Germany using a mobile recording studio. Considering the whirlwind schedule of Deep Purple in 1976, it’s a wonder the adventurous musician had any time at all for this grandiose project!