Santana-McLaughlin Montreux Re-Issue Is Another Shining Beacon From Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Forty-eight years ago a man named Claude Knobs founded the Montreux Jazz Festival. In the decades since its founding, the once jazz-only festival has grown to become one of the world’s most renowned festivals featuring acts from every one of the music industry’s genres. Sadly, Knobs passed away two years ago. But even in his absence, the festival has continued on and remained one of the world’s elite music festivals. And thanks to the efforts of the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment that reputation has been held strong due to the label’s partnership with Montreux Sounds. The companies’ partnership has resulted in a number of performances from the festival’s history being released in recent years. That list includes performances from the likes of: Stan Getz, Phil Collins, Etta James, ZZ Top, and The Raconteurs among so many others. Last week, that list grew just a little more when the companies revisited Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin’s 2011 Invitation to Illumination performance and re-issued the concert in a double-disc CD presentation. Originally released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2013, this latest release is just as enjoyable for those that might not already own the concert’s original DVD and/or BD presentation. Of course it is just as enjoyable for anyone that already owns said presentations, too. The main reason that it is so enjoyable is its set list. Just as with Eagle Rock’s 2012 Santana live release, Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011, this show’s set list feels more like one giant jam session than a specifically structured set list. By direct connection, the stage presence of the musicians on stage is just as noteworthy in the recording’s enjoyment and success. Last of note in this recording is the concert’s audio mix. Those with surround sound home theater systems will especially appreciate that clarity of the recording’s audio mix. Together with the set list and the band’s stage presence, that expert audio mix is one more factor that reminds audiences why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader of the pack in live recordings. Collectively, all three elements show why this recording is one of the best of this year’s crop of re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new double-disc presentation of Carlos Santana & John Mclaughlin’s performance at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival is not the first time that the recording has been released. Despite that, this audio-only presentation is just as enjoyable as the concert’s 2013 DVD and Blu-ray presentation of the concert. This applies both for those that already own the concert’s DVD and/or Blu-ray presentation and for those that have neither. The main reason that it is so enjoyable for all involved is its set list. The nearly two and a half hour performance (two hours and fourteen minutes to be exact) is composed of sixteen tracks that touch on quite a few different genres. There is a tribute to Led Zeppelin early on as Santana and company cover the legendary rock band’s hit single ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ There are also tributes to Miles Davis and John Coletrane later in the performance in the form of ‘Black Satin’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ respectively. There is also another tribute to Coletrane earlier in the show in the form of ‘Naima,’ which is another of the legendary sax player’s greatest hits. As if these numbers aren’t enough, there are also of plenty of other original pieces performed by Santana and his fellow musicians pulled from Santana and McLaughlin’s 1973 album Love Devotion Surrender. The combination of the artists’ covers and original compositions results in a set list that is rich and completely engaging. Being so rich and engaging, audiences won’t even realize that so much time has passed by the time they reach the concert’s finale performance. That in itself is the mark of a truly talented group of musicians. Speaking of the musicians’ collective talents, their talents are another reason that audiences will enjoy this latest release of Invitation to Illumination.

The extensive set list compiled for Invitation to Illumination is in itself plenty of reason for fans of Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin to pick up this newly re-issued concert recording. It runs nearly two and a half hours and spans some sixteen songs. At no point in that time will audiences ever find themselves checking the time as the concert progresses. Rather, they will find themselves becoming lost in the concert in the best way possible. That says quite a bit within itself. Of course the concert’s chosen set list is only part of what makes it so enjoyable. The stage presence of Santana and his fellow musicians is another reason that audiences will enjoy the show. Taking in a performance by Carlos Santana and his band mates is more than simply taking in a performance from the highly talented musicians. Taking in a performance of these individuals is taking in a full musical experience. This is just as true in Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination as it was on Carlos Santana: Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011. It is incredible to hear Santana and his band mates sharing the stage throughout the two-hour plus performance. Unlike so many other acts out there today, Santana steps back on multiple occasions, allowing his band mates to get their fair share of time in the limelight. Simply put, he not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, too. Such humility, willingness to share the spotlight, and talent shows why Santana is still one of the greatest guitarists in modern music history. Audiences will be in awe at the talent of both Dennis Chambers and Santana’s own wife, Cyndi Blackman Santana as they work behind their kits. Blackman Santana’s skill with the sticks is unparalleled. Watching her perform whether with the rest of the band or by herself on her drum solo is like watching controlled chaos. By contrast, Chambers’ own performance behind his kit is the picture of talent and composure. Chambers’ body language is one of someone that is entirely relaxed. Yet his playing would seem otherwise. It’s an amazing juxtaposition. The band overall presents such talent throughout its performance. It’s yet another way in which the band’s stage presence shows itself to be an important part of the recording’s whole. Together with the show’s extensive set list, both elements show once again why Invitation to Illumination is a brightly shining live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The set list assembled for Invitation to Illumination and the stage presence of the assembled musicians are both key reasons that the recording is so entertaining for audiences. They are just part of the whole of the recording’s enjoyment in its new double-disc CD presentation. The concert’s final audio mix rounds out the reasons that the concert shines so brightly. Those with surround sound home theater systems will especially appreciate that clarity of the recording’s audio mix. That is not to say that those without a home theater system will be left out in the cold per se. Rather it is just to say that the audio mix really lends itself to a home theater system even having been recorded at an indoor venue. There is something about the combined talents of the musicians on stage that just gives the performance that much power. This includes both the concert’s more raucous moments and even its more reserved moments. Audiences will agree with this sentiment when they pick up this recording for themselves. Together with the concert’s set list and the performers’ stage presence, it becomes the finishing touch on a recording that is one more brightly shining recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment even having been previously released.

While it is not the first time that Eagle Rock Entertainment has released the concert, the company’s new double-disc CD presentation of Invitation to Illumination still shines just as brightly as the concert’s previous DVD and Blu-ray presentation. This is the case both for those that already own one or both of the previously released presentations and for those that don’t already own either. The show’s set list coupled with the stage presence and talents of the performers makes for plenty of enjoyment in its new re-issue. The concert’s expert audio mix makes it even more of a joy for audiences. All three elements taken together make Invitation to Illumination a concert that is just as enjoyable the second time around as the first. Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination Live at Montreux 2011 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.

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Hall And Oates Impress Again In Their First Time Together In Dublin

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Next Tuesday, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release its latest live recording Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin. The concert, recorded live at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on July 15th, 2014, is yet another example of why to this day Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings. For a number of years, Eagle Rock Entertainment has released some of the best live recordings out there for audiences. From rock (Stone Temple Pilots, BTO, Slipknot) to rap (Cee Lo Green) to jazz (Stan Getz) and points in-between, Eagle Rock has spanned the musical globe bringing some of the biggest names and best quality concerts to audiences right in their own living rooms. Now early in 2015 it continues to hold its reputation strong with the upcoming release of Hall & Oates’ new live recording. Being the very first time that the duo had ever performed together live in Dublin, the concert instantly becomes something special for long-time fans of this hugely popular pop duo. While not necessarily what one might call a career-defining concert, the show’s set list covers a healthy range of the duo’s seventeen albums. It even pulls from the pair’s 1977 compilation record No Goodbyes. Keeping that in consideration, the set list chosen for this first-ever concert for Hall & Oates becomes the first key element of its success. The stage presence not only of Hall & Oates, but also of the pair’s backing band is just as important to the whole experience. Audiences will not be disappointed in that avenue, either. And last but hardly least worth noting of the recording is its production values (I.E. the audio and video mix). Considering what looks like a relatively small venue in the Olympia Theatre, the camera crew and audio operators must have faced quite the challenge in setting up the cameras and setting audio levels. Their efforts paid off in spades as the concert looks and sounds just as impressive as any previously released live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment. By itself, the concert’s production values are what make the concert worth the experience. What’s the use of taking in a concert whose production values are muddy and rough? Exactly. That being the case, it shows why this show’s production values are as important as with any concert. Together with the show’s set list and the band’s stage presence, all three elements prove why Hall & Oates fans will enjoy this concert. It also shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new Hall & Oates live recording is a piece that any of the duo’s long-time fans will appreciate. It also proves itself in the long run to be another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings. One key reason for this is the concert’s set list. While not necessarily what would be dubbed a career-defining set list, fans will be impressed with the mix of material chosen for the first-ever concert. The show’s set list goes all the way back to Hall & Oates’ sophomore album Abandoned Luncheonette (1973) and as recent as its 1984 album Big Bam Boom. pulling some of the duo’s biggest hits along the way. There is even one number included in the set that was released only on the duo’s 1977 compilation record No Goodbyes in the form of ‘It’s Uncanny’ and another taken from the 1983 compilation Rock ‘n Soul Part 1 in the form of ‘Say It Isn’t So.’ It all starts with a pair of the duo’s more recent hits in ‘Maneater’ and ‘Out of Touch,’taken from H2O and Big Bam Boom respectively. From there, H&O and company start going back in time beginning with that 1983 hit single ‘Say It Isn’t So.’ From there, the show’s set list hits on some of the biggest hits of Hall & Oates’ career including the likes of ‘Family Man,’ ‘Las Vegas Turnaround’ and perhaps the group’s biggest hit of all time, ‘You Make My Dreams’ among a number of others. The set list reaches fifteen songs, the last two of which are encores. The total run time (trt) comes in at just under the two-hour mark. And while it comes in at just under that mark, it doesn’t feel the least bit short. The concert keeps audiences engaged, singing and dancing along in their own living rooms from start to finish. And the reason for that is also the second reason that this concert will impress any long-time H&O fan, the band’s stage presence.

The set list chosen for Hall & Oates’ first-ever performance together in Dublin is itself reason enough for long-time fans to pick up this new live recording. As with any live performance, a set list is just that without a quality show on the part of the performer(s). In the case of Hall & Oates (and the duo’s backing band), the performance put on by the group makes the set list all the more enjoyable. One of the most memorable of moments that defines that stage presence is a very simple moment in which drummer Brian Dunne is introduced to the audience in attendance. He is apparently wearing a soccer jersey that the audience recognizes. As soon as he stands up in his introduction, the crowd starts chanting and Dunne smiles, pointing to his jersey. Who would have thought such a simple moment would be so memorable and powerful? Yet it helped the band make a connection with the crowd. On the musical side of things, the band in whole exudes such energy in its performance of ‘Family Man.’ While it holds the original song in the performance, the band has noticeably stepped up in this performance. And the funky vibes of ‘It’s Uncanny’ will take audiences back to another age as the band launches into this piece. The band’s live take of ‘It’s Uncanny’ is just as good as its original studio recording if not better than said composition. And the band’s performance of its biggest hit of all, ‘You Make My Dreams,’ is a solid performance in its own right. Interestingly enough, one would think the band’s performance of one of its biggest singles of all would be a big production. But the band opts instead for a performance that while not subdued per se is not the massive production that one would expect. Interestingly enough, because the band saves its energy for the last bars of the song, it makes this moment all the more special and memorable. Whether for that memorable moment or for the band’s performances of ‘Family Man,’ ‘It’s Uncanny’ or any of the moments not noted here, it can be said with ease that the stage presence of Daryl Hall, John Oates, and the duo’s fellow musicians throughout the concert presented here makes the set list and in turn the performance in whole all the more enjoyable for fans.

The set list and performance of said set list in Hall & Oates’ new live recording go hand in hand in making this yet another impressive recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment. Of course without quality production values none of that would matter. But being another Eagle Rock release, it goes without saying that the production values incorporated into this concert are of the highest quality. This is especially important to note considering the fact that the Olympia Theatre doesn’t exactly look like the largest venue out there. Being a seemingly quaint venue, it had to have presented quite the challenge for the show’s camera crew and those handling the show’s audio. The challenge for the camera crew would include placement of the cameras for the best angles and shots without risking damaging any equipment. In terms of the audio management, such a seemingly small venue means having to work even harder to handle every single little nuance of the concert’s sound. The smaller the venue, the easier it is for sound to bounce everywhere and in turn make the overall quality of the audio rather muddled. Luckily, everyone involved was obviously more than up to the challenges put before them. The end result is a concert that sounds just as good as it looks, making the concert in whole even more another proverbial feather in the cap of Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The production values incorporated into Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin by themselves make this recording well worth the watch by any Hall & Oates fan. If not for the high quality of the production values, neither the show’s set list nor the band’s performance of said set list would be worth anything. Luckily, the audio and video mix proves in the long run to be of the highest quality,which is of course the standard for Eagle Rock’s releases. And because of those high quality production values, the set list and the band’s performance manage to prove their importance to the presentation overall. All three elements taken into consideration, Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin shows exactly why in the end every Hall & Oates fan will enjoy this recording and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains to this day the leader in live recordings. Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin will be available next Tuesday, March 31st in stores and online. Fans may even be able to purchase it at the duo’s upcoming live dates. Speaking of those dates, Hall & Oates’ latest tour dates and news are available online now at:

Website: http://www.hallandoates.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/halloates

More information on Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin 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 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.

Thorogood & Company Put On A Real Rock Party In Their First Ever Montreux Show

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds formed a new landmark business partnership a year or so ago.  The partnership in question allowed Eagle Rock distribution rights for a number of new and archived shows that were recorded at what is one of music’s most revered festivals.  And the recordings in question have been nothing short of impressive.  From the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Etta James to newer acts such as The Raconteurs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has seen some of the industry’s top names take its storied stages.  Now, one more piece of the legendary festival’s history has been released to the masses in the form of George Thorogood & The Destroyers Live at Montreux 2013.  The concert, which was recorded this past July, marked the first time that Thorogood and his band mates—Jeff Simon (drums), Bill Blough (bass), Jim Suhler (guitar/vocals), and Buddy Leach (saxophone)–had ever performed at the venue.  And Thorogood himself makes note of his excitement at getting to finally perform at Montreux after more than two decades.  That excitement pored over throughout the band’s entire performance, too.  It’s one of the key factors of this recording that makes it so fun to take in.  The band’s set list is another reason that fans will enjoy this recording.  Thorogood and his band mates hit on every one of their major hit songs.  There is even a tribute to Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure.  If that isn’t enough for fans, the combination of the recording’s bonus interview and companion booklet will push the recording over the top.  They, along with the set list and the band’s performance, make this recording one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.

George Thorogood has been making music and performing for over four decades.  So it comes as quite the surprise that 2013 marked the first time that he and his band mates played the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  The festival, which started out mainly as a venue for the top names in jazz and blues, has grown each year to incorporate bands and artists from across the musical spectrum.  Thorogood and his band mates obviously held no ill will toward festival organizers when they took the stage at the festival.  Thorogood makes no bones concerning his excitement at finally being invited to perform at Montreux.  His positive energy isn’t confined to just that one moment, either.  From the high energy opener that is ‘Rock Party’ to hits like ‘I Drink Alone’, ‘Bad to the Bone’, and ‘Madison Blues’, the band exudes so much energy and excitement.  The audience in attendance feeds off of every bit of that excitement, too.  The mutual sharing of excitement and energy can be felt even by viewers watching this recording from the comfort of their own living rooms or bedrooms.  Home viewers may even find themselves feeding off of that excitement, dancing around and playing air guitar, etc.  That shows just how much fun Thorogood and company make their performance for all of their audiences.  Home viewers will discover this for themselves when they order or purchase the recording for themselves on DVD and Blu-ray.

The positive energy and excitement exuded by Thorogood and company is key to the overall enjoyment of this recording.  Whether one is seeing the concert for the first time or reliving the concert again, everybody can agree that the band’s stage performance alone is enough reason to take in this concert.  Just as important to the overall enjoyment of this concert recording is the set list chosen for the performance.  Fans won’t be disappointed at the set list chosen for the concert.  The veteran rockers included all of their fan favorites over the course of the near ninety-minute set.  From the likes of ‘I Drink Alone’ to the band’s now famous cover of John Lee Hooker’s ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ to the Johnny Cash tribute in ‘Cocaine Blues’, the band leaves little if anything on the table.  Audiences will especially appreciate that in the tribute to the late country singer, Thorogood actually seems to channel him.  He actually sounds like Cash, vocally speaking, at points in the song.  The same can be said of his guitar work, too.  It is just one of so many high points offered throughout the course of the concert.  And it’s just one more part of what makes the recording as a whole so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It’s not the last, either.  The bonus interview and companion booklet included in with the DVD and Blu-ray put the finishing touch on this recording.

The songs chosen for this concert and the band’s performance collectively make up the most important and impressive part of this latest recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  There is still one part of the overall presentation of this recording that puts it over the top.  That last part ifs the collective bonus interview and companion booklet.  The show’s bonus sit-down with Thorogood shows that the persona presented on stage was as real as it comes.  Audiences get even more insight into his excitement over playing Montreux at long last.  And through the show’s companion booklet, audiences get a brief history of Thorogood’s career leading up to his performance at Montreux.  Audiences will be interested to learn that along with George Thorogood and The Destroyers, ZZ Top was at Montreux this year, as were Prince, Sting, Ben Harper, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, and so many others.  It’s just a tiny piece of the whole history that audiences will enjoy learning in reading through the included literature.  And together with everything already mentioned, that history and the bonus interview make this presentation complete.  It all collectively makes this latest release one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-At-Montreux-2013-Blu-ray/dp/B00FFLBXJQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1387537259&sr=1-1&keywords=george+thorogood+%26+the+destroyers+live+at+montreux+2013.  More information on this and other concerts in Eagle Rock’s ongoing Montreux series of concerts is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Stan Getz Live Is A Tribute To The Legacies Of Both Getz And Nobs

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Claude Nobs started what is today one of the most respected festivals in the music world over forty five years ago when he founded the Montreux Jazz Festival.  Little did he know at the time that it would grow to be what it has become today.  It has grown from hosting the world’s best jazz artists and groups to being the venue that every band and artist across the spectrum dreams of playing.  It has indeed hosted some of the best of the best and some of the best to be, as is evidenced through the deal made between Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The deal between the two companies has garnered some of the best live recordings to date.  It has also helped Eagle Rock maintain its place at the front of the class in terms of live recordings.  And it has continued to do so with the release of a recording that is a classic Montreux performance in every form of the word.  The recording in question is of the late great sax player Stan Getz.  The recording in question is taken from Getz’s very first ever performance at Montreux in 1972.  He is joined by two other very highly respected jazz artists in keyboardists Chick Corea and drummer Tony Williams.  Along with bassist Stanley Clarke, the quartet’s performance stands as a true tribute the legacy of not only the Montreux Jazz Festival, but to its now dearly departed founder, Claude Nobs.  Mr. Nobs would have been proud to see this recording finally see the light of day.  And so will true jazz lovers, too.

True lovers of jazz will appreciate this recording for a variety of reasons.  One of those reasons is the backstory provided by Corea himself in the DVD’s bonus booklet.  Corea states in the bonus liner notes that the quartet seen in this recording was also the group that ended up going out on tour with Getz prior to the show in 1971.  According to Corea, Getz was planning to go out on the road in ’71, but had no band with which to tour.  After making some contacts, the group presented here is the group that toured together.  It’s obvious that during that tour, a bond had formed between the band members.  Getz pulls back time and again throughout the roughly hour long set, allowing his band mates to get their time in the spotlight and then some.  It was his quiet way of telling the audiences that the show wasn’t about him.  It was about everyone on stage.  Again, this is echoed through the sentiments shared in the DVDs bonus booklet.  Corea shares so much insight on how he came to be friends with Getz and on how the group grew as friends and individuals.  So few people take the time to read liner notes, etc. on DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs.  But this is one of those examples of why those booklets and liner notes aren’t always just wasted ink.  It helps to make this show more than just a recording.  Because of those liner notes, it becomes a fully immersive musical experience and equally important historical document of sorts.

The bonus booklet included with Stan Getz: Live at Montreux 1972 is but one part of what makes this live recording so enjoyable is the performance of the band.  As Corea noted in the bonus booklet, the band seen in this recording is the same band that toured with Getz the previous year.  What’s so amazing about the performance is that while the band had already played a handful of shows through 1971, just watching the band’s members perform together here one would think that they were playing together for the first time.  There was so much energy among the entire group in every song.  Williams’ drumming was completely off the charts.  It goes without saying that his playing is something to which EVERY drummer today should aspire.  The precision yet seeming controlled chaos of what he did is awe inspiring, even today.  And Getz’s own performance on the likes of ‘La Fiesta’ is just as incredible.  He proved that he was just as talented playing rather up-tempo pieces as he was playing slower pieces, like ‘Lush Life’ and the show’s opener, ‘Captain Marvel.’  The way that his fingers moved on ‘La Fiesta’, one would expect them to get tangled among themselves.  And his breath control, handling such long strains is incredible.  That set against his chops on the set’s slower songs proves why he is still so revered among jazz artists and musicians overall even today.  Corea exhibits his own talent throughout the show.  Again, it is something audiences must see for themselves to fully appreciate.  And appreciate it they will when they pick up this performance both on DVD and CD.  That’s right.  It’s available not only on DVD, but CD, too.  This is another positive to the recording’s overall presentation.

Stan Getz: Live at Montreux 1972 is a stunning tribute both to the legacy of Stan Getz and his band mates, and to the festival’s late founder, Claude Nobs.  The DVD presentation alone is outstanding for a variety of reasons.  Two of those reasons are already listed off here.  It is put over the top thanks to the inclusion of a solely CD recording as well.  This is hardly the first time that Eagle Rock has included a CD recording as an option for its live recordings.  As a matter of fact, Eagle Rock has done so with pretty much every live recording that it has released to date.  So why is this performance so important on both DVD and CD?  It is important because it completes the documentation of this classic performance and solidifies even more both the talents of the musicians presented here and the legacy of the Montreux Jazz Festival.  The performance is available now on both DVD and CD.  More information on this and other Montreux Jazz Festival recordings is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  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.

Jazz Lovers And Lovers Alike Will Love Marcus Goldhaber’s New LP

Courtesy: Randex PR

Almost love.  Those are two simple, short words.  But they make for a fitting title to jazz/pop artist Marcus Goldhaber’s new album.  One has to ask oneself, when is a feeling between two people almost love?  When is it love?  The album’s title track does an outstanding job of capturing that mix of emotions when a person is trying to figure out if what they feel is love or if it’s almost love.  He sings in the album’s title track, “And it’s love/Or it’s almost love/If you/Can be certain of your heart/But so much depends on/How you connect with/What you can’t expect it to be.”  Who hasn’t been at that moment when they are trying to figure out that mix of emotions at a given point as a relationship grows?  These lyrics mixed with the gentility of the music makes this just one of many high points on Goldhaber’s new album.

After taking listeners through the emotional journey of sorting out one’s feelings, Goldhaber gives listeners the high point of realizing that love is real in ‘Somebody in Love.’  As with the album’s title track, this song also does a great job of catching the emotion that is felt by a person newly in love.  And while it’s told from the vantage point of a male, it’s a great piece in that it could just as easily have been told by a female, too.  Goldhaber sings in the song, “I’m in a big mess/I haven’t a clue/Ain’t got the time/Can’t spare a dime/I don’t know what to do/Don’t know who to call/can’t seem to get friends/I’m losing my mind/And I don’t know why/My anxiety won’t end/I gotta get through this/Unique situation/I gotta get through to/Somebody in love.  Doesn’t sound too happy, right?  Well he goes on from here singing, “I was doing fine/Figured it all out/had lots of money/I was so funny/Gigolo no doubt/I was in control/Never had a mess/The ladies would call me/nothing would stall me/from getting that kiss/I gotta get through this/Unique situation/I gotta get through to/Somebody in love.”  He’s singing about actually being in love and how crazy it makes him feel.  That’s why he sings about needing to get through to somebody in love.  He wants to make sure that the crazy feelings he’s having are normal.  Yet again Goldhaber and his band mates—Jon Davis (piano, Hammond B-3 organ) and Marcello Pelliterri (drums)—expertly capture the high that a person feels when he or she first realizes that he or she really is in love.  Any new happy couples will enjoy this track just as much as the others on this disc, of not more so.

Just as ‘Somebody in Love’ highlights what a person newly and truly in love feels, ‘As Long As I’m With You’ somewhat continues that positive vibe, with Goldhaber and his band mates yet again musically capturing the excited lyrical vibe of the song.  Goldhaber sings just as happily here, “I have never been so happy as when I’m with you/I get lots of funny feelings/and my dreams come true/When you’re in my arms/There’s no way I could be blue/It doesn’t matter where I am as long as I’m with you.  That one verse alone sets the tone for the rest of this song.  That energy is just as obvious in the lyrics as it is in the music.  Together, they make yet another great track for this album.  Audiences could almost argue that it sort of has a Stan Getz meets Nat King Cole vibe.

“Almost Love” has plenty of up-tempo pieces that perfectly capture the highs of being in love.  And even the slower, more gentile songs do an equally impressive job of capturing the more romantic moments of love.  These songs do their job both musically and lyrically.  Being entirely assembled, they make a wonderful album for any jazz lover.  And for those who may be new to Marcus Goldhaber’s music, it makes for a top notch introduction.  “Almost Love” hits stores October 9th.  While fans wait, they can get all the latest news and more from Marcus online at http://www.facebook.com/marcusgoldhaber and http://www.marcusgoldhaber.com.

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