- STEPS AHEAD Well In That Case
- RABIH ABOU-KHALIL Dusk
- ARCHIE SHEPP Quartet Mama Rose
- JOHN ZORN & NAKED CITY Mystery Song
- JORG REITER & CHARKIE MARIANO Pink Lady
- MICHAEL KERSTING Baterie
- NIKE STERN & BOB BERG BAND Friday Night At The Cadillac Club
- MICHEL PETRUCCIANI & TRIO
- LENI STERN BAND
- SAMUL NORI & RED SUN O-Lim
This composite DVD has some strange features; the
sleeve notes give almost no information as to who the musicians are,
but on most tracks a list of the personnel appears briefly on the
screen. With the capability for information storage that DVDís offer,
the viewer might have expected a section devoted to that information.
Some of the items are not titled, which is rather unusual as well.
The viewer/listener should not however be put off by these flaws,
as there is a lot of interesting music here.
Steps Ahead is a much better than average Jazz/Rock
Group, with good soloists, a nice ensemble sound and a good rhythm
Rabih Abou-Khalil sounded to me like a fusion of
Asian music and jazz with too much of the former and not enough of
Archie Shepp brought us back into the world of real
jazz with a song dedicated to his Grandmother, Mama Rose. Although
he is regarded as one of the high priests of the contemporary jazz
scene, jazz roots can always be heard on his playing. He plays Soprano
on this occasion and concludes with some singing/preaching. I liked
the contribution of pianist Horace Parlan to this piece.
John Zorn & Naked City make noises that are usually
only heard in a zoo. I had great difficulty in listening to this track.
Fortunately things improve rapidly once Charlie Mariano
and Jorg Reiter begin to play. Mariano is one of the saxophone Ďgreatsí,
he has a superb technique and a great sound.
Michael Kerstingís band is excellent, it has a nice
tight ensemble sound and the rhythm section is perfection. I thought
that trumpeter C. Storer and tenor player Tony Lakatos were outstanding,
together with the drumming of the leader.
The Catherine Vanít Hoff, Vitous track is a solo
for pianist Philip Catherine. He has a phenomenal technique and although
the earlier parts of the solo donít have a high jazz content, they
have to be heard because of his amazing technical facility.
After track 7 it seems like the DVD is over, but
then it starts up again with Mike Stern and the Bob Berg Band. This
band certainly swings and both guest Stern on guitar and leader Berg
on tenor, make significant solo contributions.
The Michel Petrucciani Trio track is very good indeed.
Born with an incurable physical defect, Michel made a significant
impact on the jazz world during his short life. No title is given
for this piece, but this track alone is worth the DVD price.
The Leni Stern Band features in another untitled
composition, but they suffer from being immediately after the Petrucciani
track, anything that follows would be an anti-climax!
Finally Samul Nori & Red Sun which has a front
line of alto sax and female vocalist, this is a fusion of oriental
music and jazz, which works because this time the jazz content is
Overall, despite some shortcomings, this is a good
DVD. With a programme as diverse as is offered here with some 85 minutes
of playing time, there is always going to be some tracks that the
listener will enjoy more than others and even the odd one he may not
like at all. This should not influence the enjoyment of the programme
as a whole.