Broadcasted originally in 1968 and shot in black-and-white, B.B. King’s appearance on Ralph Gleason’s Jazz Casual is a look inside the "King of The Blues" and his band. I personally have difficulty in crowning Mr. King as the one an only king of the blues. I do respect what he has done but I also think John Lee Hooker needs some consideration for that title. They both are (were) wonderful so I have not really decided whom the title holder should be, lets just say I feel that both gentleman deserve it.
"Darling You Know I Love You" starts the set off. It sounds like the amplification is too low and muddied on the song. When they launch into "Got a Whole Lot of Lovano" a correction to the sound level takes care of the problem (either in the studio or in the transfer process for this DVD). When "All Over Again" gets cookin’ along the band gels, it shows how much effort and soul is in every song as B.B. has sweat beading up on his brow in no time. "The Jungle" keeps up the momentum and the closer is a sunken’ version of "That's Wrong, Little Mama." King’s biting guitar playing, courtesy of Lucille, gets the job done. In addition to stellar guitar work, his powerful voice pushes each song along with the impact that is necessary for blues music. Nobody belts out a blues number like B.B.; you have to see him live to understand and feel the entire scope of what he does.
Gleason has a short interview with King to close the curtain on this performance. B.B. is very humble and he downplays his role in music as Gleason mentions some of the white boy blues-rock that he had inspired at the time. The interview is a nice touch after watching King and his band cook up some memorable blues. To see it happening is a lot different from just hearing it. It brought me back to old days before color televisions were in every household, well maybe by then there was in my house.
B.B. wanted everyone in the world to know his music; his sojourn to the top of the mountain has been successful. This DVD captures the man enjoying some of his finest moments.