Judge Ryan Keefer is universal in a cosmic sort of way, but regardless of any karma that's associated with that statement, he enjoyed watching this concert.
Jammin' for the sake of peace.
Carlos Santana was all over the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival. Aside from this performance, he played as a supporting musician in separate concerts for Buddy Guy, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Bobby Parker, blues legends who got the chance to wow a new audience of admirers. The review of that performance is included in the "Accomplices" section for your consumption. Santana managed to maintain a relationship with Festival Director Claude Nobs through three decades, and was given a separate opportunity to set up his own concert and wish list of musicians (which originally started as an idea from Santana and the late Miles Davis). He still managed to put together a group of guest performers together with whom he could perform while celebrating peace and freedom. The group, which included artists like Steve Winwood, Nile Rodgers and Herbie Hancock, appeared and performed the following:
There are even several bonus tracks of more peace songs, including:
• "One Love"
For almost three hours, you are exposed to what is a fairly decent concert experience. Aside from the group of musicians that comprises his band, in musicians like Hancock, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and others, he gets together a group of people that just enjoy jamming. Very often you're going to get a song that lasts upwards of 10 minutes, thanks to the solos and whatnot. It's not a bad thing at all; it sets the expectation that the performance of the evening is going to be a mellow experience, which it lives up to. It incorporates blues, jazz and African world music in a melodious combination. Granted, covering quite a few reggae and calypso (if that's what I can call Harry Belafonte's music) does lend itself to those rhythms, but they also reinterpret songs by Bob Dylan, John Lennon and others in a way that makes those songs unique and memorable.
From a technical perspective, this is the first concert that I've viewed on HD DVD and the image looks better than I expected. The stage lights show off the particular performer one way or the other and the level of detail picked up is quite good. As in previous cases, the audio is to be the big performer in these shows, and you get your choice of a PCM, a 5.1 surround and a DTS HD soundmix to pick from. Each is good in their own right, the DTS HD track is the one I listened to for most of the performance, and its range is the broadest and to my plebian ears the clearest of the three, and well worth it for those who have next generation equipment.
Overall, I've got to give this Carlos Santana HD DVD a hearty thumbs up when it comes to the question of whether or not the disc is worth it. The Montreux series of discs have been pretty good for the most part, and ramping up to the HD world hasn't been a long trek for them to make. They are at least worth renting to check out how good they sound, and you might wind up buying them.
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