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DVD/Video/Film Reviews

The Future 2 Future DVD- A Feature 4 Feature MVD (Most Valuable Document)

By Published: March 4, 2003
Wisely, the program grants no overt attention to the use of the sound-triggered, computer-generated graphics flashing behind Carrington for the duration of the gig and simply allows you to digest them in ambient fashion as an audience member would (but dig that big purple psychedelic peace flower near the end of "Butterfly"!). The Dolby 5.1 surround sound is something of an approximation of the tour's state-of-the art, surround-sound P.A., which supplemented the live mix with added depth, dimension and space. I had the good fortune of catching this unit on successive nights in March of 2002 in Burlington, VT and Boston, and found that summoning the courage to step to the center of the floor with the young, gyrating audience proved well-worth it - this was the best place to hear the mix in Boston especially, easily providing the highest definition to decibel ratio of any show I've ever attended. Remember that Mr. Hancock studied electronic engineering prior to music in college, so a true interest in the technology spurs his continuing endeavors as one of the music's innovative tinkerers.

Is there any living legend more qualified and justified to pose the question, as he does on this disc and at the live shows, ''We're in a new millennium, so where's the new music?'' Over the course of the set, leader and band go a long way to put the music where Herbie's mouth is, to wit:

"In the past, I was thinking in terms of music and effects. Now I'm thinking of the creation of new doorways for the music of the new millennium. I'm encouraging other musicians and people in general to not be afraid to take risks. When starting out with Head Hunters, I was much more in the tunnel of being a musician. Now I'm outside of it; I'm a human being, and what I do is play music. There's a big difference. It does relate to the old fusion mentality, but it's not the same."

Herbie uses poetry and spoken word throughout the program, a chore that fell more fully to him after DJ Rob Swift departed the tour. DJ Disk , a.k.a. Luis Quintanilla, another Laswell collaborator (of late, with Tabla Beat Science) and one of the original Invisible Skratch Picklz crew, is on hand with his single turntable, amazing left hand, and sound manipulating devices, functioning as de facto percussionist or synthesist. For evidence of this, direct your ears toward him throughout "The Essence", especially in consort with Garrison's subsonica, for constant contributions- all of them seamlessly executed, tasteful, and enriching to the soundscape. As demonstrated on "This is DJ Disk", he also functions as an unabashedly sick turntablist, in consort with Garrison and Carrington as they put their wicked acoustic root down. Safe to say scratchologists will be digging MX's overhead camera shot and the single frame option on the remote to slow Disk's blur down to a respectable and coppable speed. He even trades eights with Hancock's Steinway and engages in a bit of a scratch-off with Herbie (who uses one of those cd scratching devices). Skeptics on the DJ/Jazz tip would do well to remember that Herbie brought the DJ to jazz with "Rockit", which is included and done to death herein.

Roney , tagged as a Miles protégé by no less than Miles himself, proves astoundingly capable of evoking electric-period Davis, with an extra dose of chops. For evidence of his way with electrified trumpet, check out his performance on "Chameleon", with atmospherics yielding to cascading sheets of sound. Compare this with the nimble, precise, more straight ahead ride, and sound, on Dolphin Dance, wherein the Milesian link is all but indiscernible. Wallace proves throughout that he's one of the top handful of jazz trumpeters on the planet, and that he is one of the jazz world's premier soloists

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