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The creative and performing roles keyboard player Jon Lord filled in the studio and on stage had as much to do with the sound of Deep Purple as any guitar player in the group's history. Lord, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just under a year ago, died Monday (7/16) with close friends and family members at his side.  Tributes began pouring in immediately after the family's announcement that Lord had passed '...from Darkness into Light.'  Yes veteran Rick Wakeman said that he and his fellow keyboard player had been planning to begin recording together - a project that his illness prevented from coming to fruition.  Wakeman characterized Lord's contribution to music and Classic Rock in particular as 'immeasurable' and added, '...I will miss him terribly.'  Lord maintained a presence in Deep Purple through many of the years that other members came and went with such frequency that fans never knew for sure who would be in the band during any given tour.  He finally took leave of the band himself in 2002.
BBC.co.uk