Legends-Live at Montreux 1997 (1997)

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Released 6-Nov-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Booklet
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 106:44
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:14) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Montreux Sounds
Rajon Vision
Starring Eric Clapton
David Sanborn
Marcus Miller
Joe Sample
Steve Gadd
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.70:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.70:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Eric Clapton is one of the best known electric guitarists in the history of modern music since his early days in The Yardbirds (who would later morph into Led Zeppelin), through his time with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers when he was first referred to as 'God', superstardom in Cream, Blind Faith, as a sideman for Bonnie & Delaney, Derek & The Dominoes and through a very long and successful solo career covering pop, blues, acoustic, rock and everything in between. He has also written and recorded numerous film soundtracks. Personally, I have long been a fan of his work (with the exception of a couple of albums) but I was surprised to see that this live show by a group called Legends at the world's premier jazz festival, Montreux in Switzerland featured Eric Clapton in a basically jazz setting. Accordingly, I was fascinated to give it a review and am extremely pleased that I did.

    In 1997, Marcus Miller, a well known bass player in jazz circles, decided to put together a band to play some festivals in Europe. He was most famous for having produced Miles Davis's Tutu album but he is also a well known and much recorded session player and solo artist. He recruited for this band four great players on a variety of instruments, including Eric Clapton on guitar, David Sanborn on saxophone, Joe Sample on keyboards and Steve Gadd on drums. It is this line up who appeared at the show included on this DVD. The show was held on July 4, 1997 at the Auditorium Stravinski. All of these players are great musicians with long and successful careers both as sidemen, band leaders and members of ensembles. Actually, I recently reviewed a DVD by Steve Gadd's own band, The Gadd Gang.

    The show itself is wonderful, mostly instrumental but with a few vocals by Eric Clapton on some blues numbers. Most of the material is in an upbeat modern electric jazz/R&B style but there are a couple of numbers Eric Clapton has previously recorded such as Layla & Third Degree, but done in a different style. This is certainly not the Eric Clapton greatest hits show and is probably not for those looking for a video compilation of his solo career, however, dedicated fans of his will certainly enjoy this show which brings forward a different side of his musicianship. It is also fair to say that this is a band in the truest sense of the word and that Eric is just one of the players, as all of these musicians are very talented and solo artists in their own right.

    The songs included are:

  1. Full House (9:59) Features some great bass work and excellent guitar.
  2. Groovin' (7:10) This is a more saxophone driven number which is very enjoyable.
  3. Ruthie (9:59) A slower tempo number featuring some wonderful guitar.
  4. Snakes (11:57) Jam style track which gives all the players the chance to stretch out into solos.
  5. Going Down Slow (6:26) The first vocal track plus some nice solos.
  6. The Peeper (9:32) Another very good instrumental jam.
  7. In Case You Hadn't Noticed (6:34) A softer slower number with Clapton on acoustic guitar.
  8. Third Degree (6:50) A blues number including a vocal by Clapton.
  9. First Song / Tango Blues (9:05) A slower sax focused tune with a piano intro.
  10. Put It Where You Want It (13:30) Long instrumental jam featuring some more excellent guitar work. This was the end of the concert proper and the other tracks are an encore.
  11. Shreveport Stomp (3:54) Rollicking piano tune featuring Joe Sample.
  12. In a Sentimental Mood / Layla (8:37) A very different but enjoyable take on Layla mixed with the jazz standard. Features Miller on bass clarinet and Clapton on vocal
  13. Every Day I Have the Blues (7:37) Probably the weakest track on the disc due to the slightly odd singing style which makes the vocals indistinct but still worthwhile.

    Highly recommended for fans of Eric Clapton who are interested in seeing him in a very different setting or modern electric fusion style jazz in general.

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Track Listing

1. Full House
2. Groovin'
3. Ruthie
4. Snakes
5. Going Down Slow
6. The Peeper
7. In Case You Hadn't Noticed
8. Third Degree
9. First Song / Tango Blues
10. Put It Where You Want It
11. Shreveport Stomp
12. In A Sentimental Mood / Layla
13. Everyday I Have The Blues

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good with one major issue.

    The feature is presented in a 1.70:1 aspect ratio, NON 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio. It is a shame they did not 16x9 enhance this title with small black bars on the side as the transfer is excellent in all other respects.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Of course, the lack of enhancement meant that the sharpness was slightly less than what it could have been. Shadow detail was excellent although not really important as this is a brightly lit stage concert. The bitrate is very high throughout.

    The colour was wonderful, rich and solid throughout.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

    There are no subtitles.

    The layer change occurs at 57:14 and was not noticeable.
    

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, an English DTS 5.1 track encoded at 768 Kb/s, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 track encoded at 1536Kb/s. Although all tracks are very good, the DTS is the clear winner here giving a much fuller and clearer sound than the others.

    Vocals were clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The surround speakers added atmosphere to the music and crowd noises giving you the feeling you were attending the concert.

    The subwoofer was nicely integrated and added bass as required.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included music, scenes from the concert and the ability to select songs and audio options.

Booklet

    A booklet is provided which includes a multi-page essay about the formation of the group and its players plus some photos and the original poster from the 1997 Montreux festival.

R4 vs R1

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

    This concert is available in Region 1 in the same format.

Summary

    A band of five legends playing together at the Montreux Jazz festival in 1997 including Eric Clapton, David Sanborn, Joe Sample, Marcus Miller and Steve Gadd.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The only extra is a booklet.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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