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DVD: Plays Blues at Montreux 2004 by Carlos Santana

This 2008 DVD signifies a condensed version of the previously issued three-disc set featuring guitarist Carlos Santana’s 2004 Montreux Jazz Fest blues concerts with guitarists Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Bobby Parker and Buddy Guy. And with a revved up audience in attendance at a packed venue, Santana’s blues vernacular is in full stride amid these often-rousing performances. On a side-note, legendary guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Brown passed away on Sept 12th, 2005 from a bout with heart disease and lung cancer. When I owned a music venue off Lake Pontchartrain in Slidell La, the artist occasionally stopped by to check out and provide some inspiration to various musicians and groups. Naturally, he was a local hero, but was as gracious and sincere offstage as he was during his live shows. Here, Brown and Santana generate gobs of contrasts, largely due to their respective styles, where the former’s slick finger picking electric lines, nicely counterbalance Santana’s sustain-drenched phrasings.

On the piece titled "Grape Jelly," Brown uses his violin to complement a knockdown drag out blues motif. Otherwise, Santana and guitarist Bobby Parker tear it up on three foot-stomping groove-based blues pieces also featuring Ken Wenzel’s vivacious harmonica choruses. Then Chicago blues icon, guitarist Buddy Guy keeps the train a rolling with the assistance of blues diva Barbara Morrison’s gritty vocalizations. While the power-packed finale "Jam Session 2" is a blues summit as Guy, Parker and Santana align with guitarists Nile Rodgers and Ric Hall amid keys and saxes for a rocking blues-funk gala. No doubt, this flick should whet the appetites of Santana fans and modern blues aficionados. An additional source of interest pertains to Santana’s blues-centric stylizations that offer a glimpse into the totality of his prolific stature within pop-rock and jazz-fusion genres.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Carlos Santana
  • CD Title: DVD: Plays Blues at Montreux 2004
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Eagle Rock
  • Rating: Four Stars
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