The Sage

In the last post, Fallin’, I stated that as a young person I only appreciated singing that was in tune and beautiful. I could share a video of Alison Krauss to make my point, and I might just do that soon, but for now, I present my favorite voice of all time, Greg Lake.

I obtained my love of ELP from my older brother. He too was a keyboard player and leaned toward classical music and progressive rock. In those days we were listening to Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Boston, Triumverat, and of course, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. I remember getting the album Brain Salad Surgery as a birthday gift when I turned 15. I soon collected everything they made. When ELP released the Works album, I was fortunate enough to see that concert in Long Beach. The London Symphony Orchestra had been touring with them, but that night, they weren’t there, so Emerson played his Piano Concerto No. 1 as a solo piece. Amazing. Despite the virtuosity of Keith Emerson, the voice of the group, and to me much of the group identity, was Greg Lake. He had the tone of a baritone, but the range of a high tenor. So rare.

This is a live performance of The Sage, a portion of the group’s interpretation of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. This video does a nice job of showing off Lake’s voice and how much control and dynamic range he used. Beautiful. And, now that I’m a guitar guy, I can’t help but enjoy this guitar performance. I think you will enjoy this a much as I always do.


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