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Modern Jazz Quartet: 35th Anniversary Tour, The
The Quartet as captured in this 1987 35th Anniversary concert consists of the following: John Lewis on piano, Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Percy Heath on bass, and Connie Kay on drums. Taped as a live performance at the Zelt-Musik-Festival in Freiburg, Germany, it's a great capture of seasoned musiciains.
The setlist includes:
Rockin' in Rhythm (a Duke Ellington/Harry Carney piece)
Echoes (original by Milt Jackson)
Kansas City Breaks (original by John Lewis)
Summertime (the ever-wonderful Gershwin piece)
Bags' Groove (Jackson)
A Day in Dubrovnik (Lewis)
To be honest, this is a fairly awful looking performance. Presented in standard 4x3 and interlaced video. Colors are oversaturated, lights appear to be blown out, and shadows are filled with noise. Subtitles noting the names of pieces are messy video-generated titles. There's little that can be done with bad source material, but it does make me wish it had been shot in a better format.
On the other hand, the sound is fantastic. We are given the choice of PCM 2.0 stereo, DTS 5.1, and Dolby Digital 5.1. All three are crystal clear, but I preferred the stereo track for the incredible amount of depth. The low end on Heath's bass resonates well. One can hear every detail of piano and vibraphone notes. The 5.1 tracks expand the sound as expected, but the rear channels seem to be devoted mainly to reverb and audience noise. Because of the low video quality, I'd almost recommend only listening to the DVD.
While there are no disc extras, a booklet with an essay on the history of group is included - not only in English, but also in French and German! Menus are fairly bland, with only scene selection and audio selection.
Overall, this is a DVD worth obtaining as a record of The Modern Jazz Quartet's wonderful music, but more worth listening instead of watching. While I recommend this DVD on the merits of the performance, fans should seek the music albums first.
"The Flickering Window"