A true classic
Tracey W. Larvenz | Miami, FL | 03/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, those of us who have waited for the better part of a decade will have the great satisfaction of seeing and hearing one of the best inside-view videos on DVD. This is a landmark video - a reality video before the genre took off- and a very telling effort that relates the drama that unfolds behind the curtain for one of the most influencial rock musicians of the last couple of decades. An all-star line-up that features some of the jazz world's greatest young lions of the time: Omar Hakim (drums), Kenny Kirkland (piano), Darryl Jones (bass) and the venerable Branford Marsalis (sax). A truly stellar band playing some of the most progressive music of the time. The cd features different versions of the songs from the video release, which, most people who have seen the video will agree, was one of the most heinous crimes in the history of soundtrack releases. Be sure to check out the blazing solos in many of the songs; Kenny Kirkland's solo in the title track, Omar Hakim's drum solo - which seems to disrupt the fabric of time and space - in "I Burn for You," and Branford's smoldering-to-full-on-scorching solos throughout."
Retains its allure...
C. Middleton | Australia | 12/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by the renowned British filmmaker, Michael Apted (Enough, Class Action and Extreme Measures) comes this classic behind-the-scenes look at Sting's formation of his first band after the break up of The Police. We actually see and hear the creation of such great songs as, Fortress Around Your Heart, Moon Over Bourbon Street and We Work the Black Seam. As Sting says at a Paris press conference in the film, this is a film about the beginnings of a rock band; where other music films record "Swansongs", the end of a band's era, Sting wanted to document a band's formation, growth and the trials and tribulations of a group of musical strangers, working to put it all together. And that's exactly what we get. Included are all the great songs from his first solo album, 'The Dream of the Blue Turtles'. Each musician in the band, through the course of the film, is interviewed about their thoughts on the music and their feelings about working with Sting. We also get a look into Sting's working habits as a songwriter and musician, and we discover that he's a perfectionist and quite the taskmaster.Most of the film is shot in a beautiful 18th century mansion, once owned by Napoleon the III. This gives the film an almost otherworldly ambience. The band rehearses for hours on end, from the early hours until late into the night, preparing for their debut concert in Paris. As they work towards this debut, we come to realize that there's a lot on the line in terms of Sting's career. The record execs are nervous but quietly optimistic as this is Sting's first solo endeavour. The pressure is on to produce and perform a few hits after the mammoth success of The Police - the rest is history. To add a little more drama, Sting's wife, Trudy, is also about to have their first child. All the band members have a bet on the exact date of the infant's arrival, and as it turns out, Sting wins the bet. The timing of the child's birth (which we see) couldn't have been any better.This film provides great insight into Sting the man and the artist. Despite this film being almost twenty years old, it retains its allure and has withstood the test of time. It should be standard issue for any Sting fan."
Sting's Best Solo Band (and work)
A. Visser | Concord, NH | 08/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was very pleased to see "Bring on the Night" released on DVD. I remember seeing this movie in the theaters many years ago and always wondered why it hadn't made it to digital, but no more!
The viewer can ignore the "dramatic" subtext of the movie ("Can Sting, risking his career, make it as a solo artist playing with jazz musicians?"; I think that the answer was never in that much doubt)that they try to establish through a series of interviews with Sting and others. Sting is overly stiff and didactic (and, frankly, boring!); the only guilty pleasure is seing Miles Copeland (his manager) run roughshod over evryone who is not Sting.
This movie is about the band and the music that they create. All of the band members are exceptionally strong; you can see and feel the pleasure that they get from playing with each other (check out Omar Hakim's smile as he solos in the middle of "Burn for You"). The set list draws from (for me) Sting's best solo work and some tasty new arrangements of Police hits (the plaintive "Message in a Bottle" stands out). But the best thing in this movie is the FUNKY jazz groove that the band adds to Sting's compositions. Check out the extended jams on "Consider Me Gone" and "Bring on the Night."
In short, if you want to see and hear musicians playing great songs WITH, not against or over, each other (listen to Branford Marsalis' sax support the melody and the message of "Fortress Around Your Heart"), check out this movie."