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The Jazz Channel Presents BB King

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 65 mins . G . PAL


Throughout the 1990's as well as the 1980's, 1970's, 1960's and 1950's, there has been only one King of the Blues - Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. (Blues Boy) King. Since B.B. started recording in the late 1940's, he has released over 50 albums many of them considered blues classics, like 1965's definitive live blues album "Live At The Regal", and 1976's collaboration with Bobby "Blue" Bland, "Together For The First Time".

Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation in Itta Bene, Mississippi. This 75 year old still can play and sing like he was 25! This DVD recording is truly impressive.

I had the priveledge of seeing B.B.King in concert in Sheffield, England 2 years ago when I was in the area for work. The energy that this guy could put in to the crowd of difficult to arouse englishmen was amazing. It took about 20 minutes to get the crowd warmed up, but from that point forward, it was an "all in" affair. This DVD is no different, with lots of crowd involement and excitement playing throughout the concert.

This DVD is a recording of a live concert at "Black Entertainment Television Studio" in Washington DC. The play list is as follows:

  • (Introduction) + Two I Shoot Blues
  • Let The Good Times Roll
  • I'll Survive
  • Bad Case Of Love
  • Peace Of Mind
  • Caldonia
  • Blues Boys Tune
  • Early In The Morning
  • Just Like A Woman
  • I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
  • The Thrill Is Gone
  • I Know
  • Don't Go No Further (You Need Meat)
  • Please Accept My Love
  • Making Love Is Good For You

  •   Video

    My fellow reviewers, while reviewing other DVDs in "Jazz Channel presents...." series found the quality questionable, especially some of the older titles. This title, being much newer it seems, was excellent quality. I had no problem with the video transfer. It is a full frame transfer, but this does not hurt the presentation in any way. The colourful jackets that B.B and the backing band wear are bright and add to the colourful nature of the concert presentation.


    The audio is excellent. I listened to the DTS track completely, and selected offerings in the Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 modes. As per usual, the DTS track is noticeably louder and clearer. The crowd noise between (and during) the tracks are mixed in to the surrounds and envelope the listener for a "you're there" experience. It's hard to find any fault with the mix, which was spacious and used the speakers to maximum effect, given the concert hall arena in which it was played.

    I did not find any problems with the audio track at all. There were no sync issues to be found, and there were no hiccups during the playback at all.


    Subtitles are provided in 10 languages (not English), but these are used in only a few placed throughout the concert (to no real purpose in my mind). They are used in the "Meet The Artist" feature discussed below.

    The menu system is extremely basic (the main screen graphic looks like a 256 colour downsampled picture - an authoring mistake or perhaps artistic? Either way, it looks ordinary), offering "Play Concert", "Chapter Selections" and "Supplements". You get to select your Audio mix, and subtitle choices and a "Meet The Artist" feature, which runs for about 15 minutes.

    The feature contains tracks from the concern playing in the background with a little window popping up in various places around the screen with B.B talking about his album or some of his history. At about 12 minutes in, there is a description of how he named his Guitar "Lucille". The story goes as follows:

    In the mid-1950's while B.B. was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas, a few fans became unruly. Two men got into a fight and knocked over a kerosene stove, setting fire to the hall. B.B. raced outdoors to safety with everyone else, but then realized that he left his $30 guitar inside, so he rushed back inside to retrieve it, narrowly escaping death. When he later found out that the fight had been over a woman named Lucille, he decided to give the name to his guitar. Each one of B.B.'s guitars since that time have been called Lucille.


    This title reminded me of the excellent night I had at the concert. It was just as good, if not better than that night. If you're at all a fan of the blues, or B.B.King, this is a must have DVD.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=479
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      And I quote...
    "B.B.King is the reigning King Of The Blues"
    - Rob Pascale
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-717 Gold
    • Projector:
          Toshiba TLP450 LCD Projector
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-3300
    • Speakers:
          Krix Euphonix
    • Centre Speaker:
          Krix Centrix
    • Surrounds:
          Mission Dipoles
    • Subwoofer:
          Aaron SUB-240
    • Audio Cables:
          Harmony Gold Coax
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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