Three legendary jazz/jazz-fusion guitarists are captured live during a 1989 performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival at a time when fusion had sunk into a genre-based quagmire. Regardless, this tour-de-force and largely, unplugged set heralds the guitarists’ distinct styles, all embedded into a superstar style summit. With subtleties and an abundance of dynamics, the masters venture into tango, flamenco, Brazilian music and jazz with a notable sense of bravura. They occasionally throttle back numerous instances of soaring unison phrasings and seemingly impossible rhythmic jaunts with tender movements and intricately designed dialogues.
The camera crew instills a sense of motion and duly highlight the trio’s meticulously articulated impetus. Larry Coryell, Al Di Meola and Bireli LaGrene also engage in duo and solo spots on various tracks. The supreme highlight of the footage resides within the artists’ performance of Di Meola’s former employer and keyboardist Chick Corea’s piece titled "No Mystery." Here, Di Meola takes the lead, hearkening back to his emergence on the scene with Corea’s Return To Forever unit. Nonetheless, the musicians’ seemingly execute billions of notes per second during the lush Spanish melody line and meticulously complex voicings. Nonetheless, it’s a forward-moving vehicle for improvisation and mini-motifs. And by rendering dainty harmonics and a few bluesy riffs, Coryell tempers the flow down to a near whisper amid all the stinging three-way dialogues. In sum, it’s an all-inclusive audio-visual document that should delight students, educators and of course, the guitarists’ respective legion of admirers.