Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Elvis Costello Allen Toussaint Hot As a Pistol Keen As a Blade|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
RECORDED LIVE IN MONTREAL IN 2006, during his month long tour in support of "The River in Reverse," a collaboration with New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint and featuring his regular backing group, The Imposters, along... more »
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Excellent DVD - Could have been perfect
M. Perry | 01/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike Elvis Costello's heavily edited Live in Memphis DVD from 2 years ago (which was about 80 minutes long before the bonus cuts), this Elvis and Allen Toussaint concert clocks in at just over 2 hours long. The musicianship and song selection on this performance are absolutely superb. Allen Toussaint's horn charts are such a joy, (especially on some of EC's more obscure songs) and the horn players themselves are out of this world. What particularly adds to the enjoyment of this DVD is how animated the horn section is playing Allen's charts. You can tell each of them are really having a blast during the show.
In addition to the horns, the ever reliable Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas play as wonderfully as someone familiar with their work would expect. But the real joy comes from seeing (or more appropriately said, hearing) Davey Faragher on bass and vocals. His musical contributions to this show dramatically add to the overall vibe. His bass lines are extremely soulful, and his background vocals are absolutely beautiful.
Given all of these positive factors, there are two reasons why this release comes up just short of perfect.
1 - The editing. One reviewer has already briefly alluded to this specific question, what the heck happened to the great Toussaint original "On Your Way Down"? This is the song that opens up "The River In Reverse" album. It was clearly played very early in the set list and removed from this disc. If the perfromance wasn't up to snuff, that's fine. But the removal of the track leads to two clear cut dialogue inconsistencies during the DVD. The first, immediately after performing "Monkey To Man", Elvis refers to the track as a Toussaint song. And later on in the show, Elvis actually refers to "On Your Way Down" as a song heard earlier in the show. I could see if this disc was three hours long and jammed packed with extras how a mistake like this could have been made, but this DVD clocks in at 2 hours long. Where did this, and the other edited out songs go? Space limitations don't apply to a two hour DVD.
2 - The mix - Where the heck are Anthony "AB" Brown's guitar and Allen Toussaint's piano???? All these great rhythmic parts and soulful flavor that AB and Allen add to the groove are almost completely buried behind, of all things, Elvis' guitar on a number of songs. Granted, I love these performaces, and Elvis is right up the top of my all time favorite artists, but man alive Elvis, turn your distorted guitar down a little bit and let these guys groove. At least four or five songs on here fall down from the pure genius category to simply enjoyable solely because Elvis has got his guitar cranked, (so not needed with the band he's got with him).
These two criticisms aside, you owe it to yourself to get this DVD. The music on here is a true joy. As Elvis says in the liner notes, I hope these guys revisit this repertoire very soon....
EC's best DVD so far!
Phil NJ | NJ USA | 12/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent DVD. Great performances by EC and Toussant and their bands. Filming and audio is first rate. I think this is EC's best collaboration yet! The "River In Reverse" songs are very powerfully delivered here, and outshine the original album recordings.
Highlights: "A Certain Girl" & "Brother" and "Bedlem". Unfortunately the classic, "On Your Way Down" went missing from the original Montreal setlist -- due to technical difficulties? Bonus materials. Good picture gallery, "Alison" - Medley, EC/Tousssant interview is interesting, but doesn't cover much new ground.
Overall, highly recommended!"
Great concert - where's the rest of it?
Phil NJ | 03/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As Elvis alludes to in the liner notes for this disc, they apparently had to cut some of the songs from the concert. I assume it was due to lack of disc space, but I've seen some great looking 3+ hour long DVDs that don't show noticable video compression. Worst case, they could have made it a 2-DVD set. Discs are cheap.
I was at the Niagara Falls show a few nights after this one, and I was disappointed that so many of the songs I heard didn't make it onto this DVD. While the Montreal set list was somewhat different than Niagara Falls, the overall concert length was similar.
There are a few shots throughout this DVD where you can freeze the image and clearly read the entire set list for this show. I compared the set list to the DVD, and exactly ONE THIRD of the songs have been cut from the DVD! A full THIRD of the concert is missing.
That's a real shame. It's still a great live document, but hopefully one day the rest of it will see the light of day."
A perfect show.
Jon E. Thornton | Los Angeles, CA. USA | 03/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful moment in the careers of two fine singer-songwriters. The 9 new arrangements of Elvis's tunes by Allen are nothing less than a revelation. Both performers play within their respective comfort zones and obviously have a love and mutual respect for each other and their music. The Imposters and the New Orleans horn section augment each other impressively. This must have been one of the highlights of last years Montreal Jazz Festival and is a must own for any true fan of Costello or the remarkable Mr. Toussaint! Highly recommended!!"