“Working Live” Volume 3 by Carl Palmer

Artist: Carl Palmer
Title: “Working Live” Volume 3
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 10/19/2010
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3.75/5

If you have ever enjoyed the legends of Progressive Rock then you already know the name of Carl Palmer for he is quite possibly one of the best drummers alive and still currently active. He came to notoriety with the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer and together the trio changed the framework of how Progressive Rock was going to move forward and have forever remained an influence to both fans and artists alike. The CD “Working Live” Volume 3 continues to showcase what Palmer is up to nowadays as a musician and it’s a very interesting thing to take a listen to based on just how Palmer and his trio are delivering the music. Although the master skin basher is working with a three piece group there is no keyboardist and instead a guitar god in the making in Paul Bielatowicz and the bassist Simon Fitzpatrick. The compositions presented are strictly instrumentals and we get a wide career spanning sample of them across the single disc release but if you are expecting the same sound you are accustomed to with traditional ELP then you are in for a surprise with this. I caught Carl a few years ago in concert when he was doing this show in NYC and I had to say that the use of the guitar gave these time honored tracks a whole new feel and life. I was a little on the fence with them because I had grown up with ELP as a favorite band but after a few numbers I enjoyed what I was experiencing. He is an awesome guitarist that brings a lot of talent to the table. He is also very young and displays a technique not often visible in someone of his age group. It was like listening to a younger Alan Holdsworth.

We get the bands famed rendition of the “Peter Gunn” theme as well as “Romeo and Juliet” but I think fans will eat up the manner in which we get the venerated “Pictures at an Exhibition”. It’s like hearing a new song when done in this manner and I guess this is the very nature of being “progressive” at the end of the day. What’s missing is the narratives that Carl offered up during these shows and with part “3” we are not getting a full show just more songs from a show that ran about two hours in length. The stories brought more life to the scenario and helped paint unique pictures in your mind. Omitting them in my opinion was a serious oversight. Folks who know the Trans-Siberian Orchestra might like hearing the original version of “Nutrocker” as done by the Palmer Trio and while “In A Moraccan Market” starts off a little slow it ends with a rousing drum solo that could only come from the mind of the master himself. In the end this is a “good” to “just better than good” release but I would have preferred seeing this released as a DVD with a CD companion. Perhaps in the future we shall find all three parts meeting as one and being a larger treat. Only time will tell on that. Carl does seem to be in excellent form and the quality of his playing on this album might have the larger Prog-Rock fan base screaming for him to do a return tour with his former band mates in Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Since I cannot determine whether such a union will ever take place again I would advise you to look into the not too long ago released DVD “Pictures At An Exhibition” as it presents to you the entire band in their youth performing their hearts out.

Fans of the man can check out our coverage of the live show that we attended by clicking HERE.

Track Listing:
1. Peter Gunn
2. Romeo And Juliet
3. Pictures At An Exhibition
4. Bitches Crystal
5. Nutrocker
6. In A Moroccan Market

Official Website: http://www.carlpalmer.com

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