Reviews roundup – Emerson, Lake & Palmer vs. Santana & McLaughlin

Live At Montreux 1997
Eagle Rock

After their nineties reunion, Emerson, Lake & Palmer put out a couple of studio albums and embarked upon some lengthy tours.  It says a lot for those albums that neither “Black Moon” nor “In The Hot Seat” are represented here, as ELP turned into a heritage act, performing the hits.

Which isn’t a bad thing because Emerson, Lake & Palmer recorded some amazing music over the years and you can never have too many versions of ‘Karn Evil 9 – First Impression – Part II’.  Of course, you may already have this version, as this is an audio release of a DVD that came out about ten years back.

So how much you want this will depend on how rabid an ELP fan you are.  There are a few sound inconsistencies, but it is a live album, and when it comes together as it does for most of the record, then it’s definitely worth a listen, especially over on the second disc where you get medleys of ‘Tarkus / Pictures At An Exhibition’ and ‘Fanfare For The Common Man / Carmina Burana / Drum Solo / Rondo / Toccata & Fugue In D Minor’.


SANTANA & McLAUGHLIN Invitation To Illumination: Live At Montreux 2011SANTANA & McLAUGHLIN
Invitation To Illumination: Live At Montreux 2011
Eagle Rock

As with the ELP release above, this is an audio release of a previously released DVD.  It was certainly historic, as it was the first joint headline concert by the two guitarists, one which saw them playing a wealth of tracks from their 1973 album “Love Devotion Surrender”.

Now I hate to point out the Emperors new clothes, but Carlos Santana has been going through the motions for a long time now.  However, the arrival of  Mr McLaughlin for this show seemed to shake him up, and it’s the best I’ve heard him play in a long time.

Of course, it will come as a shock to newer fans of Santana to hear the band working through the likes of  two Tony Williams Lifetime numbers, ‘Vuelta Abajo’ and ‘Vashkar’.  It’s mainly the Santana band backing them up, which just goes to show what they were capable of, even at this late stage.

They may not have had a lot of rehearsal time, but it’s definitely two old masters at the top of their game.