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Carl Palmer: Working Live - Volume 3

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Bitches Crystal"

Volume 3 represents the third chapter of celebrated drummer Carl Palmer's reinventions of past group works, including Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP). His technical gifts are legendary, and with this live recording, the drummer instills a distant relative viewpoint of routes previously traversed.

On the ELP favorite "Bitches Crystal," guitarist Paul Bielatowicz re-fabricates an English folk theme into a power-packed rock regimen. He elevates the primary melody into a brooding, guitar heavy rendition, supported by Stuart Clayton's steely bass lines and Palmer's surging press rolls and polyrhythmic backbeats. Bielatowicz harmonizes Greg Lake's original vocal track and merges jazzy riffs with psycho hard-rock guitar soloing, where Palmer boosts the attack with massive press rolls and cymbals hits.

The guitar-driven band initiates a contrasting perspective to keyboardist Keith Emerson's polytonal forays during ELP's heyday. Palmer's unit packs a gargantuan punch, but moderates the diverse flows with adherence to dynamics and tightly-organized unison runs.

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