Deep Purple — Purpendicular
(CMC 0607686201-2, 1996, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1997-10-01
No one should need an introduction to this group, probably one of the most famous of 70s hard rock groups. Deep Purple, in their early days, were quite innovative in the format, shaping and defining a style that a host of bands would emulate; yet, most of their output is far away from the Mellotrons 'n' costumes music that was a distinct parallel path to albums like Machine Head or Burn. Therefore, you're probably wondering why this is being included in the pages of Exposé. Well, the "classic" line-up of the mid-70s is here, except Ritchie Blackmore, which means Jon Lord's chunky Hammond and Ian Gillan's powerful voice. Blackmore's replacement here is none other than Steve Morse, a worthy replacement for any aging rock group. Unfortunately, Morse's guitar playing isn't quite as interesting as you'd expect, with pseudo-Dokken squawks and squeals, his tone is far too cheesy-metalloid for my tastes. This album is much in the same vein as 1984's Perfect Strangers, with many well-written rock songs that fit the definition of mainstream to the best meaning of the word. There are rockers, there are ballads, and there are more acoustic guitar oriented pieces (hints of Led Zeppelin here) that break up the album nicely. For those of us, with largely experimental tastes, this album is probably not worth the effort (you didn't need me to tell you that) yet those into that 70s straight rock sound should warm up to this quickly.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more