Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Chris Botti Friends - Night Sessions |
Live in Concert
Actor: Chris Botti
Director: Michael Drumm
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
On december 3 2001 acclaimed trumpeter chris botti & his band took the stage at the histori el rey theatre in los angeles for an evening of evocative & sensual music. Studio: Sony Music Release Date: 08/06/2002 Run time... more »
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Jazz/rock at it's best.
MichaelJohn | USA | 12/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a superb jazz concert I recommend adding to your dvd music collection. Chris Botti wrote most of the tunes here and says he finished the whole project in 10 weeks. These jazz pieces are excellent compositions in jazz/rock style. I was expecting a live concert, and it IS shot in front of a live audience, but it's apparent that Chris has dubbed over his part in the studio. I'll explain more about this in a moment (and why I don't reduce any stars).There is a very well balanced mix of slow and fast works presented here that keep the concert interesting and moving forward. The slow pieces beautifully showcase Botti's 'golden' trumpet tone, and the upbeat pieces are fun and energetic jazz/rock fusion works. This isn't swing style, it's jazz/rock style, and I enjoyed all of them tremendously.The editing and camera work is excellent, almost always focusing on the right musician at the right time, with a pleasing and intelligent mix of steady close-ups, wide shots, side shots, etc... Nothing gets in the way of enjoying watching the music making here, thank goodness.Chris's compositions here are mini-masterpieces of jazz/rock fusion. These compositions have good melodies and form- Chris starts off with the main melody on his trumpet, the piece then turns into a mini-jam session in the middle, and then returns back to the main melody in a very satisfying and crowd pleasing manner. No weird, experimental, gimmicky, or boring music here to have to fast forward past. Another interesting thing about Chris's arrangements is that he is the only horn player in the band- the rest of the band is guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. Unlike other popular trumpet players that have bands with horn sections, the absence of a horn (and sax) section here is not missed at all. This isn't swing jazz and the compositional style here dosn't really need a horn section. Also, Chris wants to create a more intimate character in his trumpet sound- more 'cool' with kind of a 'loner' feel- and it works. His style is closer to Miles Davis than Maynerd Ferguson.Chris also likes to keep in touch with the audience and stands right up to the edge of the stage sometimes. He even walks into the audience on a slow romantic piece and plays the whole piece for a lady he picked out in the audience.I especially enjoyed "Streets Ahead", "Alone in the City", "Why Not", and "Blue Horizon". The musicians are excellent but a real treat here is listening to and watching drummer Karen Teperberg. Not only does she have a nice smile, she plays great drums and is quite fun to watch in "Why Not". Although Jason Rebello is featured on keyboard here, the director made a wise decision to keep Karen in the shot, along with Jason, so you can watch both at work- this is great concert video making! Other directors might have made the mistake of focusing on a close up of the keyboard's fingers (which you can still see), but here, the right decision was made to keep Karen in the background and I really enjoyed this energetic moment in the video.Another treat here are guest singers Shawn Colvin and Sting, who each get two songs (individually). This was a good decision to break up the potential monotony of an all-instrumental concert. Both are very good but I especially enjoyed Shawn's presence and her very interesting dark and moody song, "The Facts about Jimmy".A very entertaining concert, well-balanced music choices, and great audio.Earlier I said that I think it's apparent that Chris has dubbed over his playing in the studio. Let me explain why I think he did and why I am not reducing any stars. There are several moments where the trumpet simply doesn't match his fingering- look at 8:51- you'll hear the trumpet play a trill but Chris is not fingering a trill until 8:52! There are also a couple other places where you hear trumpet but Chris's mouth is not even on the mouthpiece!So I highly doubt we are hearing Chris live, but instead, he has been recorded in the studio afterwards. There are also extra keyboard and vocals added as well. The music in general has a studio 'cleaness', but I do think we are hearing the drums live, and maybe the rest of the band too? But we are not hearing Chris live, but instead, recorded in the studio. And he does a remarkable job matching his fingering, except for the few moments he doesn't!As a former trumpet player myself (1st chair in high school), I'm 100 percent sure of this. But here's why it doesn't bother me. Many 'live' concerts are 'improved' in the studio afterwards. It's common practise. Even 'live' classical musicians do it. They simply, like Chris I'm sure, want to give you the best possible musical experience. I'm sure Chris is a perfectionist and simply wanted to present the best possible musical presentation.But I love the raw edge that live concerts make- mistakes and all. But live concerts are very difficult to record in a 'smooth' and polished manner. A studio always gives the musician the best audio possibilities. And indeed, Chris's trumpet is recorded in superb audio quality- with a deep reverb and great tone that I do enjoy. This would not have been possible in a live concert, and minor playing mistakes (that the audience often doesn't hear, but the musicians do) are fixed to perfection in the studio.I'm sure I would have been equally satisfied with the live audio of Chris's playing. Still, he choose apparently to dub over his part in the studio, to give us the best audio and musical experience. For that, I find no fault and I enjoyed the results anyway."
More Flaccid than Smooth
Ronald K. Goodenow | Northboro, MA USA | 07/05/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is my first encounter with Chris Botti. Won't be my last but this isn't a dvd to write home about. Not that Botti can't play, or doesn't have some fine side musicians and guests. Or that there is some occasionally poor dubbing. The whole thing seems flat to me. Sound not well positioned and lacking depth, some irratic color. As I watched I kept thinking how much better it would have been had this been a true live performance, not a film with cd dubbed in. What is jazz if not a great live experience? Sure, it's fair enough to clean things up, do some re-engineering. But a whole performance! Makes one feel as though the artist had relatively little to say and that record company was happy enough to cut and paste a stylish collage. This all said, the music is good and maybe this is the kind of dvd which, after a first viewing, is used for background to reading about Miles or Chet, working on the computer or cooking a curry without spice. Let's hope the next one turns Botti and his fine group truly loose."
Not studio dubbing, live recording but glitches
R. Lutz | New Mexico | 12/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I agree the out of synch soundtrack has moments that are distracting but none of the tracks are studio versions. But someone obviously clipped the live performance recording and this clipped version does not synch visually with the performance at about 3 seperate noticeable moments in the concert. Still it is always a pleasure to watch a musician work his craft and after having seen Chris live and also owning this DVD I can honestly say it deserves a better rating than some give it for the few technical glitches that detract from an otherwise small and intimate concert venue"
Bad Studio Dubbing
Brian Field | Rochester, NY United States | 09/26/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was dissapointed with the over dubbing. If I wanted a studio recording I would buy one. There is some intrisic connection you make with seeing a live performance, that doesn't always happen here.At first you might not notice the overdubbing, but after you do, you begin to question every note. I think he redoes some written solos, most of the endings etc. I'd rather hear him miss a note, than watch a disconnected video and audio. That's part of the live experience is you present yourself, warts and all, no safety net. It almost fraudulent to dub your mistakes. That's what studios are for, not stages.Beyond that, the recording is great, Obviously, he had unlimited take in the studio later. So for putting in for listening its great, but if you intend to watch intently, you will know it's not live."