Eagle Rock Entertainment // 1997 // 107 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // October 22nd, 2008
Virtuosos on various instruments come together for a jam at the premier blues and jazz festival.
Eric Clapton's place in music, let alone the blues genre, is pretty much a given by this point, and those fans of his should consider checking out his autobiography that was released recently for some excellent reading on the man. Even in 1997, he was already considered a legend, and any appearance at a music festival celebrating blues has got to be considered a worthwhile event. To this particular Clapton enthusiast's surprise, Clapton has released albums under different monikers, and in 1997 he released an album under the band name of TDF (Totally Dysfunctional Family), and with blues/jazz musicians like saxophonist Dave Sanborn and bassist Marcus Miller (frequent collaborator of Miles Davis), the super group of sorts decided to embark on a small tour of jazz festivals, including Montreux. The play list from that set is as follows:
* "Full House"
* "Going Down Slow"
* "The Peeper"
* "In Case You Hadn't Noticed"
* "Third Degree"
* "First Song/Tango Blues"
* "Put It Where You Want It"
* "Shreveport Stomp"
* "In A Sentimental Mood/Layla"
* "Every Day I Have The Blues"
The performance itself isn't workmanlike, and by no means is it tight, with the musicians looking to wow the crowd. It is, in fact, the simplest expression of jamming, which I think is a key part of the blues and jazz experience. There's not a lot of singing, in fact, the set features Clapton on vocals for a couple of the songs, but it's mainly him, Sanborn and Miller going off on either individual or group performances. It's straightforward, no frills, and very enjoyable.
Technically the concert's 1.78:1 presentation appears to have been filmed with high definition cameras, as the detail and clarity found on the performers and their tools is impressive. Clapton's guitar is painted gold, and you can see small cracks in the finish, and the general wear and tear on it, along with the signature that could be found on another of his guitars. The disc looks much better than I was expecting. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround is just right, just enough subwoofer engagement when needed, vocals (when they are there) sound fine, and overall, the immersion of the soundtrack is great and a pleasant stroll through the show.
Overall, if you like Eric Clapton, or blues and jazz music in general, and you've got a high definition player, you should snap this up quickly. If you've got a blu-ray player and normally wouldn't go for such material, it's worth a strong consideration to see how much music in the format sounds.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Montreux Jazz Festival