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Moscow *

Album: Moscow *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Pt. 2
2)    Piano Concerto: 3rd Movement
3)    Bitches Crystal
4)    Malambo
5)    Touch and Go
6)    Lucky Man
7)    Miles Away, Pt. 1
8)    Miles Away, Pt. 2
9)    Crusaders Cross
10)    Fugue
11)    Marche Train
12)    Finale
1)    Barbarian, The
2)    Tarkus
3)    Nutrocker
4)    Moscow Fantasia
5)    Malambo [Orchestral Version]
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Keith Emerson (keyboards); Tony Pia (drums); Travis Davis (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Keith Wechsler.
  • Recording information: Abbey Road, London (08/2008); The Dom Kino Theatre, Moscow, Russia (08/2008); Village Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (08/2008).
  • Photographers: Oleg Rodin; Oleg Forminyh; Michael Tweed; Mari Kawaguchi; Marc Andr‚ Berthiaume; Anja Heidorn; Victor Alexandrov; Sergey Belyakov; Marc Bonilla.
  • Apparently, there is no explaining how the heavily edited DVD version of this 2008 concert actually made it out before this double CD of the entire show, but at least the CD set is out now. On Moscow, the Keith Emerson Band includes ace session guitarist, vocalist, and composer Marc Bonilla (who's toured before with Toy Matinee), bassist Travis Davis, and drummer Tony Pia, who, while currently a member of the Doobie Brothers, has also played with Edgar Winter and Brain Setzer. The program features numerous Emerson, Lake & Palmer nuggets (including a 35-plus-minute "Tarkus"), some brief Emerson originals (film cues from his soundtrack work), a pair of Bonilla pieces, and two co-writes between Bonilla and Emerson. There are also idiosyncratic adapted -- and sketchy -- readings of classical works by Bart¢k ("The Barbarian") and Tchaikovsky ("Nutrocker"). The ELP material is better than serviceable, having the luxury of both a bassist and a guitarist; Bonilla's considerable chops add depth, texture, and very different nuances to the originals. Emerson and Bonilla arranged the material together, so it's natural that the guitar is an equal foil for Emerson's still quite fiery and technical keyboard playing. That said, in a few places -- "Tarkus," the extended (nearly ten-minute) version of "Lucky Man," and "Piano Concerto" -- Bonilla's six-string pyrotechnics almost steal the show. The biggest shortcoming here is his voice, which doesn't possess any of the theatrical resonance or grandeur of Greg Lake's, even though he attempts a direct impersonation -- adding a wholly rockist vibe to the proceedings that feels forced. The sound quality is pristine, fully balanced, and shockingly warm for CD. It carries the kinetic force of a live recording with the sonics of a studio offering. Criticism aside, Emerson's still large and fanatical fan base will no doubt be delighted that the CD version is finally available for purchase. ~ Thom Jurek
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