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DVD/FILM REVIEWS

BANG! The Bert Berns Story

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BANG! The Bert Berns Story Abramorama 2018 BANG! The Bert Berns Story compares favorably to The Terry Kath Experience (FilmRise, 2017), not just in the elevated quality of its conception and execution, but in its authorship by an offspring of the subject. Just as the Chicago guitarist's daughter, Michelle Sinclair, helmed the documentary she produced and directed in homage to her late father, this feature is the result of exhaustive research and collation by the late ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Still On The Run: The Jeff Beck Story

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Jeff Beck Still On The Run: The Jeff Beck Story Eagle Vision 2018 Unlike its decidedly idiosyncratic subject, Still On The Run: The Jeff Beck Story is a wholly conventional piece of video work focusing almost exclusively on the musical progression of the British guitar hero. It may be intended less for devoted fans than those more casual musiclovers who've had their curiosity piqued about what of the man's done and how he's done it ...

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Eric Clapton: Life In 12 Bars

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Eric Clapton Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars Eagle Vision 2018 There's a point right near the end of Lili Fini Zanuck's film devoted to Eric Clapton where the archetypal guitar hero makes a solemn statement regarding the profound importance of music in his life. His declaration strikes an unusually resounding chord because it points up, with eye-opening clarity, how much the man's musical endeavors are a secondary theme to his personal travails in Life ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Randy Brecker Quintet: Live at Sweet Basil 1988

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Randy Brecker Quintet Live at Sweet Basil 1988 MVDvisual2018 Culled from direct-to-two-track digital recordings made on three of Randy Brecker's potent six-night 1988 run at New York City's Sweet Basil, and featuring a particularly top-drawer quintet of musical friends old and new, the original 1989 LP/CD release of Live at Sweet Basil (GNP Crescendo in North America, Sonet elsewhere) has long been out of print. That the original version featured seven broad-ranging Brecker compositions, performed ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Jazz Ambassadors: Representing A Segregated America During The Cold War

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Jazz Ambassadors THIRTEEN Productions 2018 Here, long overdue, is a comprehensive documentary about the legendary jazz musicians in the 1950s who served as “cultural ambassadors" under the aegis of the U.S. State Department, touring Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Soviet Union. The film comes sixty years after the fact. As Americans continue to mourn the loss of Tom Brokaw's “Greatest Generation" of WW II soldiers and their families, we jazz fans also grieve the passing of ...

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The Moody Blues: Days of Future Passed Live

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The Moody Blues Days of Future Passed LiveEagle Vision 2018 For an album that was, according to surviving members of the Moody Blues (guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward, bassist/vocalist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge), recorded in a mere seven days, Days of Future Passed (Deram, 1967) remains one of the early masterpieces of progressive rock, in addition to becoming a relatively constant (and big) seller. There may, however, be a couple of myths behind ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience

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Chicago: The Terry Kath Experience FilmRise 2018 Michelle Kath Sinclair's The Terry Kath Experience is a combination of history and homage to the her late father, the guitarist and one of the founding members of Chicago. The film proceeds with a streamlined logic, not to mention an abiding sense of love and affection, that nonetheless never turns maudlin. In part because director Kath, photographer Jordan Levy and co-editors Micah Levin and Tony Papa refuse ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

The Doors: Live At The Isle of Wight Festival 1970

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The Doors Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 Eagle Vision 2018 Inveterate naysayers will inevitably disparage continuing archive releases by the Doors and, to some degree, it's a point well taken: is there any band with a comparable catalog and a greater preponderance of reissues? Yet negativism ignores a crucial point in the issue of titles such as the heretofore-unreleased Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970: this latest title, like ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Van Morrison In Concert

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Van Morrison In Concert Eagle Rock Video 2018 The video equivalent of last fall's pair of albums, Versatile (Legacy, 2017) and Roll with the Punches (Caroline, 2017), Van Morrison's In Concert is comprised of not just one, but two concerts. The main feature was recorded for the BBC Music In Concert Series in 2016, while Up On Cypress Avenue is a slightly shorter hour-long bonus (sic) commemorating the Belfast cowboy's seventieth birthday (hence its ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Django: A Film As Much About History and Culture as About A Musical Icon

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Django Director: √Čtienne Comar Milky Way 2017 Django Reinhardt (1910-1953) practically invented jazz guitar. A product of gypsy culture and music, living and working in Paris in the 1930s-40s, he and his group, the Hot Club Quintet, which notably included violinist Stephane Grappelli, brought their own brand of swing to the clubs of Montmartre. American musicians like Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, and Duke Ellington were captivated by Reinhardt's playing and, along with his recordings and ...