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Sanborn, David: Live at Montreux 1984 (DVD)

Sax legend David Sanborn has headlined the illustrious Montreux Jazz Festival many times in his career, this DVD representing his appearance at the 1984 event, in direct support to his then new album Straight to the Heart. Sanborn and his band, which included keyboard player Larry Willis, Hiram Bullock on guitar, Tom Barney on bass, and drummer Buddy Williams, tear through a hot set of funky jazz fusion, performing such staples as "Hideaway", "I Told U So", "Straight to the Heart", and the pop number "Autumn Leaves", which features a guest appearance on vocals & piano from singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones. However, the star of the show here is the late, great Hiram Bullock, who passed away in mid 2008. If you've ever seen the guitarist in a live setting, you'll remember that he's always the life of the party, a virtual whirlwind on stage, and here is no exception. Not only are his bluesy, rock flavored licks all over tracks like "Morning Salsa" and "Smile", but he just loves the spotlight, the camera can't help being drawn to him as he crawls his way around the stage, barefoot with his beaten up Stratocaster, firing off funky riffs and fiery solos. Whether he's lying down on stage flat on his back or sitting in the front row with some of the fans, he never misses a beat and always seems to be having a great time. The band as a whole were quite a force to be reckoned with, led by the always classy Sanborn, whose melodic sax lines remain tasty amd memorable at every juncture.

The bonus features include three songs from Sanborn's 1981 set at the festival, and features a different line-up that includes the mercurial talents of Marcus Miller on bass, Robben Ford on guitar, and Mike Mainieri on vibes. Miller is a house of fire, his bass solo on "Lotus Blossom" absolutely tremendous, and though Ford is a legendary player, you kind of miss the energy that Bullock brought to the band, which is sorely lacking in this line-up. Regardless, it's another fine set from Sanborn, and too bad that more of it wasn't included here. Overall, this is a fine DVD for jazz fans, and though the quality of the video isn't up to modern standouts, considering the footage is over 25 years old it will do just fine.

We miss you Hiram!

Track Listing
Main Show - 1984
1) Hideaway
2) I Told U So
3) Straight To The Heart
4) Autumn Leaves (with Rickie Lee Jones)
5) Guitar Solo
6) Rush Hour
7) Piano Solo
8) Morning Salsa
9) Smile
Bonus Tracks - 1981
1) Love Is Not Enough
2) Lotus Blossom
3) Hideaway

Added: February 14th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Enterntainment
Hits: 1650
Language: english

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