Various Artists - Encores, legends and paradox
(A tribute to the music of ELP) - 1999


The tribute of tributes. In few occasions I have seen so many artistic celebrities of a single art give homage to a rock group. The most famous power trio of the world was object of a deserved tribute by personalities of all the rock styles, jazz and progressive. "Encores, Legends and Paradox" was published by Magna Carta, includes among others John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Robert Berry (3, GTR), Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Simon Phillips (virtuous studio drummer, at the moment with Toto), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Igor Khoroshev (Yes) and the list follows until completing 23 excellent musicians.


The material that was chosen for this work comes entirely from the first five albums of Emerson, Lake & Palmer: "The Barbarian" and "Knife Edge" of the first one; a synthesis of "Tarkus", "Bitches Crystal" and "A Time and A Place" of "Tarkus"; "The Endless Enigma", "The Sheriff" and "Hoedown" of "Trilogy"; and finally "Toccata" and "Karn Evil 9 1st Impression" of "Brain Salad Surgery".

But the important thing in an album is not the names of the musicians, but what they can contribute to it in order to make it unique and special. In this case, the extraordinary thing is that there is not any carbon copy of the pieces of ELP, but adaptations to the style, voice or instrument of each one of the participants. Jerry Goodman interprets some parts of keyboard of Emerson of "Hoedown" majestically in the violin, while Peter Banks (former-Yes) makes the same adapting them to the guitar in "Toccata" and Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) in "A Time and a Place". And what can I say of the marvels that Mastelotto and Phillips make in the drums?

In the interior notes of the CD, Keith Emerson's comment textually says “they have done an incredible work” and he seems to be more than satisfied with the content of this album. By the way, even more, the cover art is in line with the tribute (a touch of "Brain Salad Surgery" more contemporary).


Finally the production was magnificent, because for Trent Gardner (Magellan) and Robert Berry that were in charge, it was a challenge to be able to select and gather the appropriate musicians to make of this homage something special, and they made it. The result is a sample of virtuosity and savoir faire in music achieved to perfection. If there is a tribute that you should buy, there is nothing better than "Encores, Legends and Paradox". Any more questions?

author - date - rating - label

Enrique Gómez - July 2000 -   - Magna Carta