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Renaissance - Live Fillmore West 1970 album review

Album Review

Keith Relf’s seminal but short-lived classical rockers Renaissance caught live

One of early prog’s great tragedies was the premature loss of the original Renaissance, who forged their exotic blend of classical rock for little more than a year before disintegrating then morphing into the safer Annie Haslam-fronted band of the same name. Renaissance had been planned by the late Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty during their last days in the Yardbirds, emerging in spring 1969 bolstered by the former’s singing sister Jane, firecracker virtuoso bassist Louis Cennamo and ex-Nashville Teens pianist John Hawken, who clinched their classically-infused new sound when he launched into a burst of Beethoven at rehearsal.

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