DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Legends: Live at Montreux (Blu-ray)
Legends: Live at Montreux (Blu-ray)
Eagle Rock Entertainment // Unrated // September 30, 2008 // Region A
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted September 5, 2008 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
Over the past couple of
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
years, Eagle Vision has released a fairly extensive selection of high definition concerts mined from the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival. Their choice of acts has certainly been diverse -- everything from the prog-rock of Yes to Korn, of all bands -- but one facet of the Montreux Jazz Festival that hasn't been represented yet on Blu-ray is...well, jazz. For the format's first full-length jazz concert, Eagle Vision has turned back the clock to 1997 for a stop at Montreux by the Legends tour. This shortlived supergroup was spearheaded by Marcus Miller, who'd spent much of the previous decade slapping his fretless bass with Miles Davis. Miller is joined by longtime collaborator David Sanborn on the saxophone, legendary keyboardist Joe Sample, drummer Steve Gadd, and, on the electric guitar, Eric Clapton.

Clapton may be the biggest name on this bill, but he's just another member of the band here, only stepping up to the mic to sing a few times and sharing the spotlight with four exceptionally deserving musicians. The sheer amount of talent on display is astonishing, particularly the rhythm section of Miller and Gadd. Starting with the barnstorming "Full House" that kicks off the set, Miller steals the show with his frenzied slap bass solos. His infectious grooves -- anchored by the unparalleled Steve Gadd on the skins -- propel this blend of jazz, blues, and rock.

All of the songs in this set are tight, focused, and immediately accessible; we're not talking about intricate technical exercises, but it's clear from the smirks plastered across the band's faces that they're having a hell of a good time. The energetic "Full House" and "Groovin'" that open the show crackle with intensity, and they're quickly followed by the wistful and more subdued "Ruthie" and the groove-oriented "Snakes". It's not until "Going Down Slow" that Clapton steps to the mic for the first time, and he backs away afterwards for another instrumental, the bouncy, playful "The Peeper". "In Case You Hadn't Noticed" unplugs for a more intimate, acoustic-driven number accompanied by Miller on a six-string electric bass. Clapton's smoldering, soulful "Third Degree" makes way for "First Song", the first half of a medley that gives Sanborn and Sample a chance to further showcase their talents. After the showstopping "Put It Where You Want It", Sample takes the stage by himself for the first encore, Jelly Roll Morton's ragtime number "Shreveport Stomp". One of Clapton's most iconic songs, "Layla", is intriguingly rearranged, played at a relaxed tempo and carried by Miller's bass clarinet. The nimble, infectiously upbeat "Every Day I Have the Blues" closes out the 106 minute set.

Dazzling musicianship, infectious grooves, and, of course, the chance to see a legendary guitarist like Clapton in an entirely different context as he shares the stage with four seasoned hands at jazz make "Legends: Live at Montreux" well worth discovering on Blu-ray.

Video: This performance
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
was shot in high definition in 1997, and to put it in perspective, Clapton and company were stepping foot on stage just a couple of months after the DVD format had first launched. At the time, HDTVs weren't commercially available in the United States, and the first high definition broadcasts on these shores would still be more than a year off. It goes without saying that high definition video was still in its infancy when the Legends tour made this stop in Montreux, and this Blu-ray disc suffers somewhat from the state of HD technology in 1997.

Black levels are disappointingly weak, leaving contrast looking rather flat and anemic. Light video noise is also visible, although it's not particularly distracting. While it's clear even with a passing glance that this is a high definition concert, detail and clarity fall short of the usual standards. Tighter shots still look quite nice, but the image softens and loses more and more definition the further the camera eases back.

Considering the dramatic leaps high definition cameras have made even in the past few years, it's not surprising that the gear used to capture this performance more than a decade ago doesn't hold up to today's standards. Still, "Legends: Live at Montreux" should be a marked improvement over the original DVD, and I don't have any reason to doubt that this Blu-ray disc is a faithful representation of the original photography.

This AVC-encoded Blu-ray disc is presented in 1080i at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

Audio: Eagle
[click on the thumbnail to enlarge]
Vision has assembled three soundtracks for this Blu-ray release: a thunderous LPCM stereo track, a traditional Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The lossless master audio is terrific, and the mix does an especially nice job spreading the instrumentation across all six channels. Marcus Miller's electric bass is more pronounced in the center and right speakers, for instance, while Clapton's incendiary fretwork screams from all three front channels. The keys, sax, and, to a lesser extent, percussion are prominent in the surrounds as well as being reproduced cleanly and clearly up front. The instrumentation is balanced deftly enough that no one member of the band is overly dominant, and the mix is bolstered by a tight, punchy low-end that doesn't lean too heavily on the LFE.

Extras: There aren't any extras on the disc itself, although tucked inside the familiar blue case is a detailed set of liner notes about the Legends tour and this particular performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Conclusion: Although its high definition photography hasn't held up all that well more than a decade later, this 1997 stop at Montreux by the shortlived Legends tour showcases some exceptional musicianship and an infectious blend of jazz, blues, and rock. Recommended.
Find the lowest price for 'Legends: Live at Montreux (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Batman The Complete TV Series Limited Edition Blu-ray
2. The Expendables 3
3. L'avventura: Criterion Collection
4. It Happened One Night - The Criterion Collection
5. The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind: Criterion Collection
6. 22 Jump Street
7. Princess Mononoke
8. Kiki's Delivery Service
9. Pete Kelly's Blues
10. Cinerama's Search For Paradise


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use