Veteran Acts Dominate 2015’s Top New Live DVD/BD Recordings List

This week marks the last full week of 2015. It’s a little tough to grasp that there are only eleven days left in the year. But it’s almost time to bid a fond farewell to this year. And even as the year’s final days tick away, there is still plenty of work left to do in turns of examining the top titles from the entertainment world. Phil’s Picks has already done quite a bit of that, delving into the top titles of the music world’s top titles. There’s still some ground to cover in that realm while beginning to transfer over into the year’s top new DVDs and Blu-rays in each of their different own areas. Keeping that in mind, what better way to start making that transfer than to look today at the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. The year’s best new live CDs have already been tackled. And as previously explained, in many cases, some DVDs and Blu-rays are actually released separate from their audio-only counterparts even today, and vice versa. That justifies a separate category for the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That being the case, here, for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five are no less important. They each receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen titles. Enough rambling. Here, again, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS AND BLU-RAYS

  1. SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS – LIVE AT THE ROXY 09.25.14

 

  1. TESSERACT – SCALA

 

  1. AEROSMITH – AEROSMITH ROCKS DONINGTON

 

  1. GEORGE STRAIT – THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY

 

  1. THE WHO – LIVE AT HYDE PARK

 

  1. SHANIA TWAIN – STILL THE ONE: LIVE IN VEGAS

 

  1. ERIC CLAPTON – SLOWHAND AT 70: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE IN LEEDS 1982

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME 1990

 

  1. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – PRONOUNCED L LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD & SECOND HELPING

 

  1. PAT METHENY – UNITY SESSIONS

 

  1. WHITECHAPEL – BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

 

  1. TASTE – WHAT’S GOING ON: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT

 

  1. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK

 

  1. DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES – LIVE IN DUBLIN

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Metheny’s “Unity Sessions” Live Recording Will Unify Fans

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Pat Metheny is one of the most talented and accomplished musicians in the jazz community and the music community in whole. That of course goes without saying. He has spent the better part of his adult life crafting what is some of the most original and creative music that the jazz community and music community in larger part have ever had the pleasure of hearing. This applies not just to Metheny’s albums but to his live recordings as well. And his latest live recording (<—->) The Unity Sessions proves that without a single doubt. The recording, available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms, it is one of the best of those categories to be released so far this year. The main reason that it proves so enjoyable is that it is a live recording that isn’t necessarily live in the traditional sense. It isn’t the first time that Metheny has taken this route with his live recordings. Nor is he the only act to take this route, either. Regardless (<—->) The Unity Sessions still proves through its semi-live setting to be another enjoyable recording from Metheny. It is just one reason that the recording proves enjoyable for Metheny’s fans, too. The concert’s set list, which features selections from Metheny’s 2014 album Kin (<—->) and other previous Metheny albums, is another reason that the recording proves so entertaining. Last and just as important to note of the concert’s positives is its production values. Considering the concert’s intimate setting the people behind the cameras (and in front of the editors) had plenty to work with even as small as the stage seemed. Some of the shots ended up being surprisingly stunning in their simplicity while others did an equally impressive job of capturing the emotion of the recording’s featured songs. That will be discussed later. The work of producer/editor Steve Rodby put the finishing touch on the production crew’s expert work to make for a recording that any Metheny fan will agree is yet another great recording from Metheny and Eagle Rock, and also one more of this year’s best new live recordings within its category of recordings.

(<—->) The Unity Sessions is yet another great recording from Metheny and Eagle Rock, and also one more of this year’s best new live recordings within its category of recordings. The main way in which it shows this is through its general presentation. While it is a live recording it is not necessarily a live recording in the traditional sense of the word. Metheny and company performed the set presented here at 5 Angels Theater in New York in 2014. The catch is that there was (apparently) no audience in attendance at the recording of the group’s performance. It was just Metheny and his band mates from the Kin (<—->) recording sessions. It’s not the first time that Metheny has ever taken such an approach with his “live” recordings. And he’s not the first artist to ever use this approach either. What sets this performance of sorts apart from those other recordings (both from him and other settings) is that it actually was recorded in a live venue. The venue in question just didn’t have anyone there to take in the concert. That makes watching the concert feel that much more special for every fan because it makes fans feel as if they are the only one there, enjoying a concert just for them. It makes the performance all the more special for every fan. And it is just one element of this recording that makes it one that every fan will enjoy. The recording’s set list is another important piece of the whole that makes (<—->) The Unity Sessions such an enjoyable recording for fans.

The general presentation of Pat Metheny’s new “live” recording in itself forms a solid base for its overall viewing experience. As important as it is to the recording’s overall viewing experience, it is hardly the only element worth noting here. The songs chosen for the performance are just as important to its whole as the overall presentation. Audiences will note that of its fifteen featured songs, roughly half of the presented set list is taken from Metheny’s 2014 full-length studio offering (<—->) Kin. The eight tracks that make up the remainder of the recording’s set list come from his 2012 album Unity Band, his 2000 album Trio 99 – 00, 2005’s collaboration with Ornette Coleman Song X and 2000’s 80/81. The ‘Medley’ and performance of Cherokee are special additions to the recording’s set list. In other words, the majority of the songs presented here are more recent material. While it obviously is not a career-spanning performance, that does not take anything away from the performance. The musicians’ talent and stage presence makes every song wholly enjoyable in their own right with the set list in whole being a collection of songs that will keep every viewer engaged regardless of their familiarity with Metheny’s body of work. Taking this into consideration it shows in full just why the set list that makes up the body of this recording is so important to its viewing experience. It still is not all that makes the performance such an enjoyable experience for fans, either. The work of those behind the cameras, audio boards, and editors is just as important to the whole of the recording as the show’s set list and its overall presentation.

Both the general presentation of (<—->) The Unity Sessions and its featured set list are important in their own right to the recording’s overall viewing experience. While both are undeniably important to the whole of the recording, neither would be of any importance without the work of those charged with capturing the performance by Metheny and his fellow musicians, and those charged with handling it in post production. Being that the performance was actually recorded in a live venue without an audience is hugely important to the camera crew and those behind the audio boards. Having no bodies to soak up the sound and no one to limit the ability of the cameras to move around in the intimate setting opened up the options for director Matthew Beighly. He could have the cameras move wherever he wanted without worrying about obstructing anyone’s view. It resulted in some great shots such as in ‘Come and See.’ Metheny sits alone on stage with his rather interesting guitar/sitar hybrid, with the light pouring in from behind drummer Antonio Sanchez’s drum set. Sanchez is not there to obstruct the light. So having so much darkness around him and that one giant mass of light pouring in from almost behind him makes for such a big impact. The slow pans and mix fades at other points throughout the recording do just as much in their own right to highlight the intended emotional impact of each song. Just as impressive as the work of the show’s camera crew and director is the work of audio techs Pete Karam and David Oakes. Karam and Oakes expertly handled the openness of the venue with the result being a sound that when coupled with the equally expert work of the camera crew, makes for an experience that will deeply move any of Metheny’s fans. The final product, handled by Rodby in post production is a recording that is perfectly edited with its fade outs, fade ins, audio levels and other elements. It shows in the end to be a recording that is well worth the watch especially for that precision. The work of those behind the cameras and computers, coupled with the concert’s set list and its overall presentation, makes the show in whole a recording that every one of Metheny’s fans will enjoy and will agree is one more of the best of this year’s new live DVDs and Blu-rays.

(<—->) The Unity Sessions is one of the best of this year’s new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That is obvious in examining the recording’s general presentation. It’s not the first time that Metheny has given fans a rather non-traditional live recording. That’s not a bad thing, either. That’s not to say that an audience is a bad thing. Rather it makes the concert feel more special for fans, as if it is a performance just for them. The set list, composed mainly of Metheny’s more recent material makes it even more interesting. That is because the featured songs show that Metheny is still just as talented today in his ability to compose new, original works as he was so many decades ago. The work of those charged with capturing Metheny’s performance and putting the final touches on it before it hit store shelves is just as impressive. It makes this concert one that will assuredly keep fans and audiences in general completely engaged from beginning to end. Of course for all of the importance of these elements, one would be remiss to ignore the recording’s companion booklet and bonus interview. Both elements add even more insight into the group’s performance in their own right. All things considered (<—->) The Unity Sessions proves in the end to be a recording in whole that while not a traditional live recording is still a live recording nonetheless and one that is one of the best of the year’s new live DVDs and Blu-rays. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock, Pat Metheny Team Up Again For Metheny’s Latest Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment announced recently that they have teamed up to release Metheny’s latest live recording this fall.

Eagle Rock Recording will release Pat Metheny’s latest live recording The Unity Sessions on Friday, September 18th. It is not the first time that Metheny and Eagle Rock have worked together on his ive recordings. Recordings including: Speaking of Now Live (2003), The Way Up Live (2006), The Orchestrion Project (2012), and We Live Here Live in Japan (2013) have all been released via Eagle Rock Entertainment. Now Metheny has added The Unity Sessions to that list. Originally recorded at 5 Angels Theater in New York in 2014, will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms and features performances from Metheny’s Grammy Award-winning recording Unity Band, 2014’s KIN (<– –>) recording, and other hits from Metheny’s storied career. The complete track listing for the recording is listed below.

Track Listing:
1) Genealogy
2) On Day One
3) This Belongs To You
4) Roofdogs
5) Come And See
6) Kin
7) Born
8) Rise Up
9) Adagia
10) Sign Of The Season
11) Go Get It
12) Cherokee
13) Police People
14) Two Folk Songs (1st)
15) Medley

As an added bonus, Eagle Rock Entertainment has also included with this recording an in-depth interview filmed with Metheny and his fellow musicians before they took the stage for their performance. Pricing information for the recording will be announced in the days to come. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Metheny’s Orchestrion Project Is An Amazing Experimental Performance

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Nearly two decades ago, a little company known as Animusic created its very first ever animation.  That animation was titled, “Beyond The Walls.”  The release of that animation spawned the release of the even bigger animation, “Pipe Dreams.”  When these original computer generated pieces were created, they were little more than the realization of a group of individuals’ dreams.  Fast forward sixteen years, and a handful of releases later, and those dreams have actually become reality thanks to musician Pat Metheny and a group of inventors.  Sure the inventions used in his new project aren’t exactly like those presented in Animusic’s videos.  But the similarity in style is striking.

Metheny’s new Blu-ray and DVD presentation of The Orchestrion Project has made the dreams formed in the Animusic DVD’s a reality to an extent.  While Metheny didn’t make the machine operated musical instruments, he made himself to be a one man band as he operated everything around him with little more than the push of a pedal.  That the machines in those videos would be inspiration for something real and physical is amazing.  That they actually work is even more incredible.  And that Metheny was able to control so many different instruments while playing his own guitar without missing a single note or beat is beyond words.  It makes him a virtual one-man-band.  At a time when so much music has become watered down and generally lacking in originality, Metheny’s own musicianship combined with this vast array of machines and instruments makes this performance one of the most original of this year, if not the single most original of the year.  From the gentility of ‘Sueno con Mexico’ (I dream with Mexico, roughly translated) to the equally interesting ‘Improvisation #2’ to the five movements of the performance’s title song, this experimental jazz recording is a recording that every musician should experience at least once, regardless of which genre one prefers.  This recording just goes to show the genius of both Metheny and the individuals behind the musical machines presented with him.

The musical performances presented in The Orchestrion Project are the main highlight of this release.  Though as is the case with any home DVD and Blu-ray, bonus features can add to or detract from said presentation.  The Orchestrion Project is one of those cases in which the bonus features enhance the primary feature.  Of those bonus features included in the DVD and Blu-ray, the “Interview With Pat Metheny” is the most insightful.  Audiences will laugh a little bit hearing Metheny exclaim that this recording was the strangest thing that he’d ever done.  Sure, he was going out on a limb.  But as anyone will see from the performance, that proverbial limb held strong.  He also adds insight in his interview as to what exactly an “orchestrion” is.  He goes into something similar to music theory in discussing this.  This is something else that any well trained musician will appreciate.  Along with that discussion on semi-music theory, Metheny also discusses his reasoning for wanting to embark on this project, and even the potential of future releases such as this.  The nearly twenty-minute interview adds so much to what viewers see in the disc’s main feature.  Together, they make for a live performance of a completely different type.  It’s a live performance that any true music lover will enjoy.

The Orchestrion Project is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.