Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

283

Dr. John: Live at Montreux 1995

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Dr. John
Live at Montreux 1995
Eagle Eye Media
2005

Dr. John brought a strong band to the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1995. Everyone solos hard and often. He sings at the piano and keeps the house rockin' with his unique delivery. Backup singers shadow much of what he sings and provide plenty of depth. From the piano bench, he tells stories that roll out a distinctive New Orleans flavor. When he stands up to play guitar and sing, his blues band dishes it out with a heavy hand. His guitar solos prove quite expressive, too.

Visually, the representation of this concert works better than most, because the director has managed to switch camera shots at appropriate intersections all night long. When bassist David Barard echoes the leader's vocals as backup singer, the camera's there right on cue. When percussionist Smiley Ricks or guitarist Bobby Broom performs a similar vocal function, the camera is there without missing a beat. The same is true, of course for each thrilling solo; and Dr. John likes to share the solo spotlight with his band.

Saxophonists Ronnie Cuber and Alvin "Red" Tyler turn in superb performances, while the trumpeter's refrains pale in comparison. His pitch is frequently off target and his tone grates a little; however, he and the other horns blend their sounds together for much of the program, so it's not an awkward distraction.

The focus, naturally, is on Dr. John's searing vocals, and he's in top form. Standards such as "Blue Skies," "Makin' Whoopee" and "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You" reflect the New Orleans tradition appropriately.

High points of the program include: solos around the room on a traditional "Iko Iko," a hot shuffle on "Right Place, Wrong Time" that includes an electrifying guitar solo from Broom, and a hearty "Goin' Back to New Orleans" with its powerful big band arrangement and memorable lyrics.

The final three tracks listed below come from the 1986 Montreux Jazz Festival, and feature Dr. John alone at the piano. There's a substantial difference between his '95 performance and his '86 performance. He thrills just the same; whether performing by himself, or with his New Orleans Social and Pleasure Club band.


Tracks: Iko Iko; Renegade; Come On (Let the Good Times Roll); Tell Me You'll Wait for Me; Blue Skies; Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You; Right Place, Wrong Time; Makin' Whoopee; Goin' Back to New Orleans; The Big Bass Drum (On a Mardi Gras Day); I Shall Not be Moved; Mess Around; Iko Iko; Mac's Boogie; Tipitina; Junko Partner.

Personnel: Dr. John: piano, vocals, guitar; Hermann V. Ernest III: drums. backing vocals; Smiley Ricks: percussion, backing vocals; Robert Broom, Jr.: guitar, backing vocals; David Barard: electric bass, backing vocals; Charlie Miller: trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals; Alvin "Red" Tyler: tenor saxophone, backing vocals; Ronnie Cuber: baritone saxophone, backing vocals.

Program Notes: Approximate running time 93 minutes.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saxophone Colossus Featuring Sonny Rollins: A Film By Robert Mugge DVD/Film Reviews Saxophone Colossus Featuring Sonny Rollins: A Film By...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 5, 2018
Read La La Land DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD/Film Reviews Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2017
Read Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At Carnegie Hall" DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"" DVD/Film Reviews Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "The Who At The Isle of Wight Festival 2004" DVD/Film Reviews The Who At The Isle of Wight Festival 2004
by Doug Collette
Published: June 3, 2017