Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Soul Comes Home A Celebration of Stax Records and Memphis Soul Music|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
This DVD captures the once-in-a-lifetime concert held on April 30, 2003 to commemorate the grand opening of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, TN. This unique gathering of soul music?s biggest stars perfor... more »
One More Time!
thestaxman | Jackson, MS United States | 02/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"People from all parts of the globe ascended on Memphis in late April 2003 for the grand opening of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music housed in a rebuilt Stax Records at one of the most famous addresses in the world 926 E. McLemore Avenue. For forty years, the timeless and superb recordings that came from this address have had people dancing all over the world. In Europe, for instance, Stax, with their down home groove heavy approach to Soul has arguably had even more of an impact than that of their chief competitor in the '60s, Motown. And now, here these fans were; not only getting to see and hear their heroes, but actually tour the rebuilt studio where Booker T. & the MGs played day after day as the house band behind a slew of spectacular entertainers including Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and Blues God Albert King.
The folks in charge could not have started things off any better as the great Eddie Floyd kicks the evening off with his 1966 smash "Knock On Wood". Sounding just like a teenager, the sixty-six year old looks great, and it is evident from his constant touring with The Blues Brothers, that he is very much on top of his game. And who's that playing those great licks behind Mr. Floyd? None other than co-writer and MGs' guitarist Steve Cropper. Floyd is followed by Jean Knight and her mega selling 1972 hit "Mr. Big Stuff" and then Stax's first true solo star, William Bell, warms the heart with his timeless first hit "You Don't Miss Your Water".
The biggest and probably most pleasant surprise of the night came from former Stax artist Rance Allen. Some knew the name, but few had any idea what they were in store for. With the pipes of an opera singer, Allen (who is a legend in the Gospel field), slayed the audience with "That'll Be Good Enough For Me". He received a delayed standing ovation from the stunned crowd, who looked to be still trying to come to terms with what they just witnessed. There is just no way the CD or DVD could recapture the power of Allen's performance, and the effect he had on the audience (not to mention the artists back stage). This must be what James Brown meant when he talked about breaking out in a cold sweat.
There were other Soul stars there who didn't record for Stax, but came to pay homage to the great label, including Percy Sledge. The main attraction of Memphis's other renowned R & B label (Hi Records), Al Green delighted the audience doing, of course, "Let's Stay Together", and also undoubtedly provided one of the night's highlights with his great "Love and Happiness". Another BIG legend was there, The King of Rock and Soul, Solomon Burke, paid tribute to Stax's biggest star Otis Redding. One has to conclude that Solomon Burke is the ONLY man alive who could dare do "Try a Little Tenderness" after Redding put his stamp on it.
The house band for the event was no Booker T. & the MGs, but they were absolutely fantastic. Former Stax session men Bobby Manuel (guitar) and Lester Snell (organ) led the group of who's who's in Memphis including a top-notch horn section, former Bar-Kay guitarist Michael Toles, a great bassist named James Kinnard, and the wonderful former Malaco Records drummer James Robertson. Robertson is the only musician not credited in the CD notes, but he is, without question, the reason everything sounds as great as it does. Their backing behind Mavis Staples's super funky work out of her family's (The Staple Singers) Mack Rice penned hit "Respect Yourself" and Isaac Hayes conducting a brilliant and grand version of his "Theme from SHAFT" make these two of the greatest live performances captured on tape by Soul acts in a long, long time. Hayes is joined by Charles "Skip" Pitts, the original wah-wah guitar player on "SHAFT". There aren't enough superlatives to describe Pitt's playing. He should be a household name. Mavis Staples is joined by her fantastic drummer Tim Austin and her sister Yvonne on backing vocals.
Fans were also treated to the real deal, the three remaining members of Stax's house band. On one of the DVD's great special features (entitled Booker T. & the MGs: Cookin' Up Green Onions), keyboardist Booker T. Jones goes to extra lengths to point out the genius of their late drummer. "The essence of the Stax sound had EVERYTHING to do with the drumming of Al Jackson, Jr.." When Jones, Steve Cropper, and bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn go into "Green Onions" it is as if time has stood still for the last forty years. They now employ the services of Steve Potts, who happens to be Al Jackson's cousin and a hell of a drummer in his own right. Somehow, as great as Potts is, it doesn't have the same fire, the same swing, as "Green Onions" live in the '60s with Jackson. But after Cropper's solo, Booker starts playing some really inspired things, the tempo changes, and it becomes as fresh as the first time you heard it. As awesome as Cropper and company finish this off, it just doesn't compare to what they did next. Their second biggest hit, "Time Is Tight" was a ten minute plus tour de force that reached absolute epic proportions. I saw them live a month before this concert, and this must have been the first time they ended the instrumental staple this way. They have perfected it, and they left the audience enthralled. This is what they came for. For some absolutely unforgivable reason "Time Is Tight" was not included on this DVD or on the CD. I am not exaggerating when I say this is nothing short of a crime. Instead we get to see Public Enemy's Chuck D. rapping over The Bar-Kays' great "Soul Finger" and hear another typically dreadful Percy Sledge reading of "When a Man Loves a Woman". And here are Booker T. & the MGs, the creators of the sound that's being celebrated, getting shortchanged. And also, there's no appearance from The Memphis Horns, though trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxophonist Andrew Love did run through a couple of numbers they did with the MGs in the early sixties when they were known as The Mar-Keys. Alas, they did not make the final cut either. At least this means that there will be consistency in Stax Records and their primary artists not getting the attention they deserve.
The one sight that will forever remain in my mind is that of drummer James Robertson and his permanent smile. This is just plain ole feel good music. There is nothing like it. They should build a museum!"
Great Music, BUT
Douglas C. Egan | New Orleans, LA | 02/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This could and should have been easily a 5 star review. The music is just plain wonderful, and the performers, for the most part (there are a couple of minor exceptions) sound nearly as good as they did 30 years ago. A lot of vibrancy, and the band(s) were uniformly tight and enthusiastic. A wonderful musical experience.
HOWEVER, my copy of the DVD (which they may have fixed by now), had a VERY annoying mismatch between the sound and the visuals. That is, the performers lip and mouth movements were never in sync with what you were hearing - always a delay or lag. I mean, c'mon people... I thought that this sort of thing went out with 1950's public service cafeteria school films. In this digital day and age, there is simply NO EXCUSE for this. It's pure laziness or sloppiness for something that should have been easily fixed prior to letting the DVD go out. I'm sorry, but I have to take points off for this, as it detracts from the viewing experience.
That said, again, the music is wonderful. After having evacuated New Orleans for Katrina, I am now living in Memphis, and happy to be in what I view as the 2nd most important American city for music. This DVD gives a good argument for that. By the way, the DVD puts in a plug for the STAX records museum here (the DVD is actually a tribute to STAX, filmed at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis). The museum is worth seeing, and contains 2 items that thrilled me: the actual Hammond Organ that Booker T used to record "Green Onions", and the actual Wah-Wah pedal used on the intro to Isaac Haye's "Shaft". These are like holy relics to me, and there are many more. Memphis also has several other music related museums, etc.
If you don't mind the performer's mouths not matching the sound, you'll love this Dvd!"
A/V Sync issues ruin this disc
Joshua D. Simpson | delray beach, florida | 01/01/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with the commenter who raised this issue: the last (and best) third of the performers here (Al Green -> Solomon Burke) are impossible to enjoy if you're bothered by mismatching between audio and video.
Also, uou will pay Amazon for shipping after realizing this & deciding to send it back."
Melomano | 09/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Soul, blues, gospel... toda la riqueza de la musica afroamericana presente en este recital.
Muy buena calidad de imagen y sonido. Mejores interpretes y repertorio.