GBS | Chicago, IL USA | 10/28/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Bruce has always been an important performer in the history of rock. While recent years have not found him in the strongest of settings (3 tours of duty in the Ringo All-Starrs oldies troupe), his legacy of great musicianship, songwriting and singing remain. There have been very few videos of this long-time great bassist made available, and it's interesting to see this old show appear on DVD after all these years.This DVD dates from approximately 1980 (given the band line-up and set-list). The "Friends" are all top-notch players, as you can see from the editorial. Billy Cobham's claim to fame was in the high-octane "Mahavishnu Orchestra" with John McLaughlin in the 70s, one of the hottest jazz-rock ensembles of all time. Clem Clempson was an ex-Humble Pie member, but also delivered some outstanding session performances in the 70s and 80s. David Sancious continues to deliver solid work to this day, most recently with Eric Clapton, and provides both great keyboard and guitar work.Bruce is in fine shape, bass-wise and vocally, on this show. His abilities are still at peak form, and the fine mix of Cream favorites as well as solo material makes for a great show.The reason for the low star rating is that this might be one of the worst sounding concert DVD's I've heard. The instrument balances go in and out, Bruce's bass is tinny, and sonically this is terribly flat and lifeless (especially disappointing for the hot performance). While this is for a TV show, there are numerous examples of better sounding concert videos from this period, as well as earlier. Obviously the producers of this DVD had little to work with, but seem to have made no effort to tweak this in any way. So be forewarned that this isn't going to thrill your speakers and your ears.Despite the frustrating sound quality, this is a great document to experience the outstanding musicianship of this rock legend. Since so few examples of Jack Bruce on video exist, and from lesser venues, this remains a worthy purchase to see why he's so respected to this day."
For Jack Bruce fans only
Studebacher Hoch | Portland, OR | 11/14/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Bruce can't seem to get a break. Here is an exciting and gifted performer who thrives in a live environment. Yet every attempt to show this has been met with poor to mediocre results from the Cream Farewell concert to this session. This was a terrific band that easily flowed from jazz to rock and could keep up with Jack's own virtuosity. But the production values are awful, and the song selections, other than the Cream and early solo material, are uninspiring. And the sound is pretty close to disasterous. It's also frustrating that the camerawork focuses mostly on the guitar player when I wanted to see Bruce's phenomenal fretwork, as well. And one last complaint - it's awfully short. And NSU was cut to shreds, as the encore. Considering there's nothing else out that documents Jack as a solo performer on DVD, it's still a "must-have" for devoted fans. But it will not be a saitsfying experience."
Weak effort does not do Jack justice!
Jon Leonoudakis | Northridge, Ca. USA | 06/30/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Weak production values and mediocre song selection (save Cream tunes) mar this show. Clem Clempson has mighty big shoes to fill on guitar and turns in a run of the mill performance. I read on the back of the DVD sleeve that the first incarnation of Jack Bruce and Friends (right after Cream broke up) was formed with drummer Mitch Mitchell and jazz-rock guitar man Larry Coryell...now that's a DVD I'd like to check out!
Special features on this disk are pretty lame and non-existent. Hardly what you'd call a true bonus."