Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 9: Jon Lord - Deep Purple Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men - was born on this date in 1941...

... he died on July 16, 2012.

Jon Lord D.M., was a composer, pianist and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock and classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, besides Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men.

Jonathan Douglas "Jon" Lord was born in Leicester, England. He studied classical piano from the age of five, and those influences are a recurring trademark in his work. His influences range from Bach (a constant connection in his music and his keyboard improvisation) to Medieval popular music.

Lord absorbed the blues sounds that played a key part in his rock career, principally the raw sounds of the great American blues organists Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and "Brother" Jack McDuff, and the stage showmanship of Jerry Lee Lewis. The jazz-blues organ sounds coming from those musicians in the 1950s and 1960s, using the trademark blues-organ sound of the Hammond organ were seminal influences. Lord has also stated that he was heavily influenced by the organ-based progressive rock played by Vanilla Fudge after seeing them perform in the UK in 1967.

In 1968, Lord founded Deep Purple, where he was virtually the leader of the band until 1970. In addition, Lord wrote the organ riff on "Child in Time.” He and drummer Ian Paice were the only constant band members during the band's existence from 1968 to 1976 and from when they reformed in 1984 until Lord's retirement from Deep Purple in 2002.

In 1997, he created perhaps his most personal work to date, Pictured Within, released in 1998. Lord's mother Miriam had died in August 1995 and the album his sense of grief. Recorded largely in the city of Cologne, the album's themes are Elgarian and alpine. Lord signed to Virgin Classics to release it, and perhaps saw it as the first stage in his eventual departure from Purple to embark on a low-key and altogether more gentle solo career.

Lord also collaborated on a number of projects. For example, Lord was a neighbour to former Beatle, George Harrison, and played piano on Harrison's posthumously released Brainwashed album in 2002.

Lord released his solo album To Notice Such Things in March 2010. Titled after the main work — a six movement suite for solo flute, piano and string orchestra — the album was inspired by, and is dedicated to the memory of Jon's close friend Sir John Mortimer, the English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter, author and creator of British television series "Rumpole of The Bailey,” who died in January 2009.

On its first day of release, the album entered Amazon’s Movers And Shakers index, nestling at no. 12 at the end of the day. Six days later it entered the UK's official classical chart at no. 4.

On November 11, 2010, Lord was made an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson College, Edinburgh. In July 2011, he was granted an honorary Doctor of Music degree by his home town's University of Leicester.

Among his many upcoming projects, Jon Lord has been commissioned to compose a concerto for Hammond organ and orchestra and with special parts for tympani. The piece will be premiered with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Tom Vissgren on tympani in Oslo, Norway in the Spring of 2012. With Vladimir Ashkenazy and Josef Suk, Lord was one of three artistic sponsors of Toccata Classics.

Up until July 2012, Lord had been working on material with recently formed rock supergroup WhoCares, also featuring singer Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, guitarist Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, second guitarist Mikko Lindström from HIM, bassist Jason Newsted formerly from Metallica and drummer Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden.

Lord died on July 16, 2012 after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer and was surrounded by his family at the London Clinic.


For more about Jon, visit his Website at -


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