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With the advent of easily available digital technology, it has become easier for anyone to make semi-professional videos. Nowadays, practically anyone with a digital camera and a computer can produce and release, say, a music DVDeven if the quality of the images isn't exactly that great.
Recorded live at Greenwich Village's Fat Cat, the music is unquestionably fine, but the video is sometimes hard to watch. The cameras do close-ups at the wrong timesduring a hot piano solo by Jean-Michel Pilc, the camera zeroes in on Hoenig and during one scene saxophonist Jaques Schwarz-Bart is seen fumbling with what appears to be a cellphone while a cameraman crawls around the stage.
As far as the set itself goes, the video is quite enjoyable. The group takes George Gershwin's "Summertime to a very personal placeHoenig plays his drums subtly during most of the song, surprising us with some tom-tom work and, as you can see on the video, he seems like he can feel the music he is playing in every part of his body. On Coltrane's "Giant Steps, they surprise the audience with a false ending, when Pilc takes the song to a different beat for a moment, quickly returning to the original groove and finally coming to the real ending.
The piano becomes a percussive instrument on "Invitation during Matt Penman's bass solo, Pilc reaches inside the piano and blocks one of the key's hammers while pushing it with his right hand, effectively transforming the instrument. Later on the set they take on Dizzy's "Con Alma and pay tribute to Monk by making his "I Mean You sound as if it were their own song.
This DVD is for music fans who want to experience a set as "real" as it gets. There are no clever visual effects or special editingjust four musicians on a sparsely decorated stage doing what they do best on a New York night.
Tracks: Giant Steps; Pilcing Around; Summertime; Invitation; For Tracy; Con Alma; I Mean You; Ska
Personnel: Ari Hoenig: drums; Jean-Michel Pilc: piano; Matt Penman: bass; Jacques Schwarz-Bart: tenor saxophone.
Production Notes: Total time: 74:15. Recorded and videotaped 9/12/03 live at Fat Cat, New York City.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...