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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Jazz > Count Basie & His Orchestra – Live In Berlin & Stockholm 1968 (Impro-Jazz DVD) + Coleman Hawkins: In Europe, London, Paris & Brussels (Standing Oh!vation DVD/MVD DVDs)

Count Basie & His Orchestra – Live In Berlin & Stockholm 1968 (Impro-Jazz DVD) + Coleman Hawkins: In Europe, London, Paris & Brussels (Standing Oh!vation DVD/MVD DVDs)

 

Picture: C-     Sound: C     Extras: D/C+     Concerts: B-

 

 

Older jazz product is constantly available on CD and the vinyl revival is also helping titles from its classical era, but DVDs can be a stickier situation and two new titles feature some fine performances in underwhelming playback, likely beyond the control of the releasing companies.  Count Basie & His Orchestra – Live In Berlin & Stockholm 1968 and Coleman Hawkins: In Europe, London, Paris & Brussels are two releases worth having if you can put up with the unfortunate playback.

 

Basie features an appearance by Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and 18 extended performances including All Of Me, On A Clear Day, Whirly-Bird and Cherokee, including Marlena Shaw on vocal in some cases.  Hawkins (originator of tenor saxophone as a solo instrument, as the case rightly tells us) 20 performances if you include the bonus film, including What’s New, Body & Soul, Moonglow, Lover Man and Sunday.  Carol Stevens sings well in some of the bonus film tracks.  Good work on both and even archival, but there are other issues.

 

Except for the first part of the Hawkins disc looking a bit clearer, the black and white image in the main programs are very poor, third generation material with major staircasing and detail issues.  I hope these are not the best versions of the material here, as the PCM 2.0 16/48 monophonic sound may be better, but barely so, showing that all material is far from original source.  The only extra is a solid half-hour of the short performance film After Hours made in New York in 1961.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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