Passing the Baton
A. D. Chew | Victoria, Australia | 01/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this DVD straight after I had finished watching the Lee Ritenour Overtime DVD. How much better can it get when you can watch such great performances on a big screen with a great sound system without leaving your lounge room?
I have been a huge fan of Larry Carlton's since he played on Steely Dan's early albums and have collected most of his solo work on vinyl and CD from that time. I had only heard a few of Steve Lukather's solo performances but knew from the rave reviews that he was a virtuoso. But for me I bought the DVD just for Larry's performance - and I wasn't disappointed. Mainly because Larry chose to play tunes and improvised like he used to in the early days. It became abundantly clear how much Larry has influenced his younger co-performer, yet Luke played in his own way complementing Larry beautifully.
The opening track was a brilliant rendition of "The Pump", a Tony Hymas/Simon Phillips tune that is on Jeff Beck's "There and Back" album. As such it brought back nostalgic memories of another great guitarist which were then reinforced when they played a few bars of Steely Dan's "Josie" towards the end.
Larry Carlton plays the blues the way a jazz musician thinks, with a tone that is so pure. I am so glad he used his ES 335 for most of the show because that defines his sound. I have another DVD from the New Morning in Paris featuring Robben Ford who must definitely have been inspired by Larry as their tones and blues phrasing are very similar. However Larry is able to take it to another level without being flashy. His chord melody work on "It was only Yesterday" is reminiscent of the late Joe Pass and Lenny Breau - rich in harmonics and chordal harmony.
Steve Lukather's performance was much harder to define. He hunkers over his guitar and grips the neck like a power chording heavy metallist which belies the beautiful melodies that he plays with both power and subtlety. The tones and effects he wrings from his Signature Ernie Ball MusicMan guitar highlight the influences of Jeff Beck (soaring whammy bar harmonics), Buddy Guy, (5+ step bends on his rendition of "Red House") and Steve Vai (squawking, talking, pinched notes and whammy effects), just to name a few. He is the complete package!!
The support muso's were also very good, especially Chris Kent on bass, who along with the others got a chance to show his chops on a couple of tunes. (Stanley Clarke, Jaco and Louis Jordan have lot to answer for!)
The concert was great and by itself more than worth the outlay, but again the additional features provided more than icing on the cake. Larry talked about his early influences (BB King and Joe Pass) and talked a little about how he thinks about improvising and why it sounds like he might have rehearsed it but he hasn't.
Similarly Luke talks about his influences primarily the Beatles and then the Steely Dan connection. As a guitar player it is a wonderful insight and a great learning tool to listen to how these great players got started. Overwhelmingly what comes through is that both of these players love music, their guitars and each other.
Steve Lukather and others are more than capable of taking over the guitar emeritus mantle and legacy left by the older guys like Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour."
R. I. Carter | Johannesburg South Africa | 01/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Agree totally with the reviews which claim excellent playing. But, when, oh when will producers try and at least act like music lovers as opposed to trying tio impress with every damn angle they can find? On this particular dvd one is actually treated to viewing the back of some members of the audience's head; then of cousre we must not forget that all of us absolutely love seeing guitar players from the rear, behind their arms, the drummer from ground zero postion, from behind his drum kit, etc, etc. The day a producer locates a decent wide-angle camera and tries to position himself in the centre of the audience in a slightly raised vantage point and helps us view the show as if we were sitting in the centre, taking in as much of the four, five or six members at once the happier I will be. I am not really interested to watch the audience either when Steve or Larry are in the middle of a solo. Get real guys!!"
The Carlton I've been Waiting for
Terrence M. Davis | Salamanca, New York United States | 01/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've had all his other videos and a couple of bootlegs. I wanted to like Larry. He is a great guitarist, but his written material always seemed a bit schmaltz-e. Like 1 degree towards Barry Manilow which is 1 degree too much. Also the lackys he had with him on past videos didn't help matters either. Finally!!! This DVD is phenominal. Lukather brings the cutting edge with out altering Carlton whom he obviously admires. The rest of the band makes it cook just right. I've never seen Carlton compositions sound so good. Good keyboards, drums and bass too. Not just a bunch of subserviant studio guys with no charachter. They rock and do whatever needs to be done. This video cooks and ""ALL"" the musicians shine. The music is formost and not just a man. This is music. A bunch of equals with good material. That is how it's done."
R. Diehl | Chicago, IL. | 12/30/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure what DVD the rest of the reviewers got, but this particular one does NOT have Steve Lukather on it anywhere!! Larry Carlton doesn't have much of the spotlight either so if you're really looking for a DVD that showcases him, this is a bad choice. The other performers are average at best and the vocals are really poor on most songs. Don't waste your money on this one!!"