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Brewhouse Jazz - Roots Salute to the Saxophone
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 55 mins . E . PAL

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This 1992 concert brings together four saxophonists - Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman and Nathan Davis - along with Don Pullen on piano, Santi Debriano on bass and Idris Muhammad on drums. The whole thing is an unofficial tribute to the sax players' mentors and inspirations, notably of course Lester Young and Charlie Parker.

It's a lively concert without any undue reverential quality; very laid-back and friendly. Lovers of modern jazz will relish such a concert, with its emphasis on the big, meaty sound of the sax - though this group of musicians, who play alto, tenor and soprano sax, also prove emphatically that the sax is capable of subtle shading and depth.

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The full-screen transfer is in very high quality for an event obviously filmed for television. Details in close-ups are sharp and colour values are fine.

It's documentation of a musical event, so you'd expect a high quality of sound, and though this is basic two-channel Dolby Digital stereo, the sound is clear and warm, with a good intimate venue ambience.

The extras give text biographies of the musicians and musical/background notes to each of the six tracks played. It's an unnecessarily cumbersome menu system and every time I tried to find the individual track-notes it would begin on track two, with no apparent way of getting back to the mysterious first track.

There's not much more information here than could have been printed on the disc's sleeve - which would have made accessing the information a whole lot easier. It seems crazy, for instance, for the liner-notes not to spell out who was the featured soloist or soloists on each track.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Lovers of modern jazz will relish this concert grouping of four heavyweight sax players - the only thing better than one sax is more."
    - Anthony Clarke
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          Panasonic A330
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          Loewe Profil Plus 3272 68cm
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