Keith Emerson, the flamboyant, English prog-rock pioneer who rose to fame as the keyboardist for supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the ’70s, died in Santa Monica, Calif. on Thursday March 10th at age 71. Although the cause of death was not revealed, an official statement was issued by bandmate, percussionist Carl Palmer.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson,” wrote Palmer in the statement. “Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together. Rest in peace, Keith.”
Emerson, born Nov. 2, 1944 in Todmorden, Yorkshire, was weaned on Western classical music and was a pioneer in combining classical, jazz and rock themes. The Hammond organ would become his instrument of choice in the late 1960s but he would soon incorporate an entire battery of keyboards, including the Moog synthesizer, the Yamaha GX1 polyphonic synthesizer and the pipe organ, in his performances.
In 1970, he was a founding member of ELP, two years after the formation of Yes and three years after the birth of Genesis, the two other prog-rock giants of the era that achieved similar success.
The nature of progressive rock meant that the group had few radio-friendly singles, but the ballad “Lucky Man” from their debut album did garner some play, as did “From the Beginning” and “Still You Turn Me On.”
The power trio made a huge splash at the Isle of Wight that year, its first proper concert, playing in front of more than a half million people on a bill that included the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. But ELP’s set was something never seen before, combining classical selections such as Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and an amped-up version of the Dave Brubeck jazz classic, “Blue Rondo ala Turk” with the kind of showmanship that would become the band’s signature. It was a stunning display of virtuosity that would characterize the band’s recording output through the decade.
Those first four albums, “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” (1970), “Tarkus” (1971), “Trilogy” (1972) and “Brain Salad Surgery” (1973) would help set the standard for all prog-rock in its wake, with pristine production, a pronounced level of experimentalism and a high level of musicianship. The recordings were all top five sellers in England, and certified gold in the U.S.
Among his innovations in the pop realm, Emerson would sometimes pluck or strum the strings of his piano, a method evidenced in “Take a Pebble,” from ELP’s debut LP.
The group split in 1979, with Emerson enjoying modest success in his solo career before the band reunited breifly in the 1980s and then again in the early 1990s with the album “Black Moon.”
Emerson also reunited the first notable group in which he was a member, the Nice, in 2002 for a tour. His last album, “The Three Fates Project,” was released in 2012.
more recommended stories
Oil auctions in Mexico postponed until February
According to REUTERS, Mexican oil auctions.
Zapatista rebels reject meeting with López Obrador
Mexico’s leftist President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez.
Municipal crews work 24/7 to keep sargassum off the beach in Cancun
“The cleaning works carried out since.
Yucatecan enterpreneurs seek to strengthen local productivity with “Tech Day”
In order to strengthen partnerships, and.
Catalog highlights relevance of the flower in Mexican Culture
The flower, addressed as a substantive.
19th edition of the International Jazz Festival of Campeche features world-class artists
Campeche will present its International Jazz.
PEMEX pipeline on the Mérida-Progreso highway explodes as fuel was being illegaly extracted
According to unofficial reports, the explosion.
Measures against Influenza reinforced by Isstey authorities
Mérida, Yucatán, July 18, 2018.- In.
Oscar winning Guillermo Del Toro grants scholarships to three Mexican talents in animation
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, with the.
Mexican congress asks Health Secretariat to evaluate if there is an Influenza epidemic in Yucatan
The Mexican Congress directed an appeal.