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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke


DVD
The Jazz Club Highlights 1990
TDK JAZZ CLUB DV-JTJCH


Crotchet


  1. STEPS AHEAD Well In That Case
  2. RABIH ABOU-KHALIL Dusk
  3. ARCHIE SHEPP Quartet Mama Rose
  4. JOHN ZORN & NAKED CITY Mystery Song
  5. JORG REITER & CHARKIE MARIANO Pink Lady
  6. MICHAEL KERSTING Baterie
  7. CATHERINE/VAN'T/HOFF/VITOUS
  8. NIKE STERN & BOB BERG BAND Friday Night At The Cadillac Club
  9. MICHEL PETRUCCIANI & TRIO
  10. LENI STERN BAND
  11. 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 section.

Rabih Abou-Khalil sounded to me like a fusion of Asian music and jazz with too much of the former and not enough of the latter.

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 high.

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.

 

Don Mather

 

 

 
 
 
 



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