The lord of the blue notes

A tuesdays afternoon in the early 80’s my friend put a cassette in his stereo. The cassette startet in the middle of a solo from an isntrument I until then only knew the  existence of as big wooden blocks where old men played bossanova from. From that day on mr. Jon Lord played the main solo in my musical life.

Playing on my friends casette was the intro solo of “lAzy” from Deep Purples legendary album “Made in Japan” recorded on the bands “Machine Head” tour. The solo dodnt seem to have an end. It just went on and on. Teased the audience wiht its blue notes, borrowed from Goodman, Bach, blues and noises, only accompanied by mr Paices hihat and jazzy underlines. It was by far the coolest thing I ever heard coming from two loadspeakers.  The most playful ans spontaneus I ever heard to that point.

The news of mr. Lords death reached me a couple of days ago. He died of canser age 71. Jon Lord, my biggest musical inspiration and overall favorite musician was gone. Even though 71 years is a respectabel age it was sad and tragic. It was as his lesley  had rustet in the middle of a hoght pitched solo.

Even though I choosed the guitar for my main instrumenr, Jon Lord stayed on as my favourite musician. For those who have been in a band it might seems weird. Keyboardists and guitarists tends to fight, but mr. Lord was not an average keyboradist.

The first thing I noticed was the way he uses the “blue notes”. The way he always knew how long and how far out he could keep it and his briliant technique.  The same blue notes that threathned to slash open the loadspeaker membran was found in his organ riffs. The man that co- invented heavy rock was an amazing riffmeister. The opening of “Space truckin” from the album “Machine head” and the heavy riffs of  “Perfect strangers” from the album with the same name proves my point. His organ was just as nasty as the sound of the viruosto Richie Blackmores Fender Stratocaster.

Mr. Lord also thought me how to improvise. His open way of toying wiht the tones, the way he created the music in the moment and never playing the sam solo twice had a huge impact on me and my own way of playing.

Jon Lord also opened the door to the wonderful classical music. The first piece I remember was his string work on the song “April”  from the album “Deep Purple. Later he did the first attempt that I know of of combining a symphony orchestra with a rock band with the album “Concerta for group and orchestra”.  Later he did it again on “Windows”

Mr. Lord also took his classical background to the rock stage. His solos on “Highway star” and later ogn “Burn” shows his strong influence from Bach. He later played that influence out more extreme on the piece “Bach onto this” frm his solo record “Before I forget”.

Mr. Jon Lord opened my eyes and ears. Hi played the main solo in my musical life. He still is and I miss him already.

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5 Comments on “The lord of the blue notes”


  1. Thank you for this. I had not heard Jon Lord’s solo stuff before. We are missing him together.

  2. greenmaster86 Says:

    A very nice tribute to Jon, and thanks for those links – a real insight into the range of his talents.


  3. Nice post and tribute. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Austin Says:

    I attended a q&a afterhe gave a lecture to a university class on the hammond, he came across as a most polite humble, and yet impressive man. He was patient with the idiot who had to rehash the “Richie” nonsense and helpful with a musical query on piano technique. Sadly missed, a true giant. Austin


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