John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Friends-70th Birthday Concert (2003)

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Released 19-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Audio
Interviews-Cast-John Mayall
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 123:18 (Case: 137)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (62:51) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Aubrey Powell
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring John Mayall
Eric Clapton
Mick Taylor
Chris Barber
Joe Yuele
Hank Van Sickle
Buddy Whittington
Tom Canning
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    John Mayall was one of the most important figures of the 1960's British blues scene. His band, the Bluesbreakers, are famous for being the breeding ground for many important musicians who have gone on to bigger things. These include Eric Clapton (who joined Mayall from The Yardbirds, and left to form Cream), Mick Taylor (later in the Rolling Stones), Peter Green, John McVie & Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) and  Jack Bruce (Cream). John Mayall himself was more famous as a bandleader and picker of talent than in his own right as a musician. Despite this, he is still a talented keyboard and harmonica player and a decent singer. John Mayall was born in 1933, so is significantly older than the other people mentioned above. On the occasion of his 70th birthday, he held a concert incorporating some of his old bandmates, including Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor in Liverpool, England. This DVD contains that concert seemingly in its entirety. The concert also set out to raise money for Unicef.

    As for the concert itself, it stretches over more than 2 hours and includes John Mayall's current Bluesbreakers line-up of Tom Canning (keyboard), Hank Van Sickle (bass), Buddy Whittington (guitar) & Joe Yuele (drums). They are a very good band and all play well during the concert. Buddy Whittington is a stand-out and acquits himself well, looking and sounding right at home in the exalted company of the special guests. Mick Taylor joins the band for a total of five songs including the finale and plays some quite good solos without generating too much excitement. Eric Clapton joins the band for 8 tracks and his appearance really lifts the show, once a problem with his volume is solved after the first two numbers. Eric also sings two numbers, Hoochie Coochie Man & I'm Tore Down both of which are excellent. The other special guest is Chris Barber, a trombone player and jazz band leader of similar vintage to John Mayall. His trombone is very welcome and adds to the songs he appears on.

    Although John Mayall's instrumental prowess has not dimmed with age, his singing is starting to show his 70 years. He was never the finest singer in Blues, but with age his voice has become quite croaky. The finale, Talk To Your Daughter, is great, featuring solos by all the main guitarists and ends the show on a high note.

    Overall, this is a very good concert film by a good quality blues band featuring some great special guests. If you are a John Mayall fan, buy with confidence. If you are a fan of Eric Clapton, you will also find this of interest. Royalties from the sale of this disc go to Unicef.

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Track Listing

1. SOUTHSIDE STORY
2. KIDS GOT THE BLUES
3. SOMEBODY'S ACTING LIKE A CHILD
4. BLUES FOR THE LOST DAYS
5. WALKING ON SUNSET
6. OH, PRETTY WOMAN
7. NO BIG HURRY
8. PLEASE MR LOFTON
9. HIDEAWAY
10. ALL YOUR LOVE
11. HAVE YOU HEARD
12. HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN
13. I'M TORE DOWN
14. IT AIN'T RIGHT
15. TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was excellent as required.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. The skin colouring was very natural. Much of the concert used blue filtered lighting but this was not an issue.

    The only artefacts I noticed were some minor aliasing on guitar straps, jackets and amplifiers but this was not distracting.

    There are no subtitles.

    This is a dual layered disc and the layer change is well placed between songs at 62:51.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent.

    This DVD contains three audio options, a 6 channel DTS soundtrack encoded at 768 Kb/s, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a Dolby Digital 2.0 track encoded at 192 Kb/s. The DTS track was fantastic with great depth and clarity. The Dolby Digital 5.1 was also very good and the 2.0 track was fine but sounded a bit thin compared to the others. If you can listen to this in DTS, do so!

    Singing was clear and easy to understand.    

    There were no problems with audio sync.    

    The music came across very well with clear delineation of the instruments. The only minor quibble was the mixing or volume of Eric Clapton's guitar during his first two numbers onstage. During this time, his guitar was almost impossible to hear.

    The surround speakers were used throughout for crowd noises and some music but as it was a concert film the music made more sense coming from the front i.e. the direction of the stage.

    The subwoofer was used constantly to add bass to the music.

    

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu included a song selection function and music.

Interview with John Mayall (12:01)

    This is an interesting interview with John Mayall where he discusses the famous people who have passed through his band and his pride at being associated with them. He also discusses how he chooses people to join his band. This item also includes footage of the lead-up to the concert, including rehearsal footage of Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor. The guitar playing here is well worth seeing as is the interview itself.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is available in Region 1 in exactly the same format.

Summary

    This disc contains a very good concert by John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers including special guests.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The disc has an interview with John Mayall as its only extra..

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, June 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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