25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2004
Jane Olivor has finally done it! Releasing a concert dvd. This has to be a stroke of genius on her part. Olivor's live shows are a true event! I've seen Ms. Olivor at least 20 times from 1979 to 2003. Each show is unique, and better than the last. When she disappeared in 1983, she left behind a legion of bewildered and saddened fans, myself included. Over the years I've managed to acquire several bootleg video concerts of the vintage Ms. Olivor. I've played them so much, they're almost worn out. But now, us fans have a permanent record of "the voice" that will last forever.
I managed to receive an advance copy of this dvd. Well, it has never left my dvd player. I remember choosing the on-camera interview first. Jane tells of her humble beginnings, her family's influence, how she started singing, and what made her leave the music scene so abruptly. The interview is frank and insightful. I found it very informative. For most of us fans, we know how rare it is for Jane to talk about herself. So, this portion of the dvd is a real treat. She is articulate, at ease, and very funny, as she shares anecdotes about her career.
So, after the interview, I'm ready to see the concert portion. I'm really psyched for Jane, she's come so far since her comeback. The concert starts with "You" from the Chasing Rainbows cd. She comes out with a big smile, and looks fantastic. Jane still has the same effect on me she had in 1979. The little hairs on the back of my neck stand when I hear her sing. She then eases into "Warm" "Let's Make Some Memories" which now has an updated spin "Let's Make New Memories," a clever lyric change, which now seems fitting. Jane then moves into "Annie's Song" She makes you forget that John Denver wrote it, and she steals it right away from him. Jane then goes into banter about her and Johnny Mathis, and then sings "The Last Time I Felt Like This" from the film "Same Time, Next Year".
Jane Olivor has included most of her signature songs, and a few new ones, which are destined to become classics in her catalog. For instance, she does a version of "How are Things in Glocca Mora" from Finian's Rainbow, and cleverly incorporates the song from the film Rob Roy, "Ailein Duinn" with it. WOW!! what a great combination! it will give you goosebumps. The song "Safe Return" is another new one, with a beautiful melody and touching lyrics, Jane's trademark!! "I Believe" is another classic suited to her unique vocal style.
The official release of this dvd is April 27th. I highly recommend it!! It's a definite keeper. With her voice sounding better than ever, I'm confident that this dvd will give Jane Olivor the acclaim that has unfairly eluded her.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2004
As a loving fan of this truly gifted artist, I was amazed and enthralled upon seeing this fantastic DVD. She's Back, she's Fantastic, she's older and filled with Confidence, Wisdom and Elegance. She is also Beautiful!!!! Every track is an absolute treasure. My favorites are "Stay the Night, Daydreams, Brooklyn Roads, Run For The Roses, Annie's Song, L'Important C'est la Rose"--- in actuality
every single track is flawless, beautiful Jane Olivor in all her brillance. I cannot imagine anyone finding fault with this amazing concert. One of the great aspects of Jane Olivor is that she is, mysteriously, not well known by all. Those of us who have loved her for so, so many years have yet another wonderful veichle to appreciate her emense talent and legendary career.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2004
I've purchased several copies of this DVD for holiday gifts because I'm convinced that anyone who experiences Jane Olivor's voice will claim to be her number one fan. Never has a singer so beautifully wrapped a voice around every single word of a song. Streisand and Midler should only sing backup for this extraordinary artist. The song "Safe Return" alone is worth more than the price of the DVD or CD.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2005
I was about just a teenager when "first night" came out. I am not even sure WHY I bought it..I think because she sang "better days" and I loved Melissa Manchester. In any event, I brought home "First Night" and fell in love with Jane Olivor's voice and style. Jane brings to her fans "crowded Island" for the time as well as "Safe Return", a beautiful cover of "Brooklyn Roads" as well as "Sipping wine" a song she often performed in the 70's but never shared with us on record. For any fan of Jane Olivor's Music, they will totally love this dvd.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2004
I have never had the privilege and luck to be in the right place at the right time to see and hear Jane Olivor in concert. So it is such a pleasure to own this DVD concert produced at the acoustically-perfect theatre at Berklee School of Music. It's an emotional ride right there in your living room, as you're held captive by Jane's presence on stage, backed by a very competent trio of musicians. I almost felt as though I were a member of that live audience...there was so much energy and love in that packed house. Jane sounded sublime with every note, every nuance. I've never understood why she didn't become a megastar in popular music, but I'm glad I found her in the 70's, and even more glad she's come back into my life in the past two years with new releases. She's a wonderful artist, a national treasure. This low-priced yet high-quality DVD is a bargain and a must for every Jane Olivor fan.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I was a little apprehensive about this dvd, having not heard much of Jane Olivor's music before. But I'm soooo glad I bought it, because it is truly wonderful. Another reviewer called it magical, and that is the perfect word for it. She has so much passion in her music, and is so endearing to watch, I'm hooked forever, and I think you will be, too.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2004
First off, I have to agree with one of the other reviews that
criticizes the sound mix. I don't have a multi-speaker setup,
or DTS capability, just a great sounding SONY TV. Watching the
DVD on just the TV, the sound is strange. The keyboards are up
way too high in the mix, sometimes almost drowning Jane out in
the uptempo songs if you use the 5.1 mix. If you switch to
"Dolby Stereo", it's much better and clearer. But on the song
"You Don't Know How Beautiful You Are", her voice is completely
obscured by her keyboard player's vocals on the chorus. This is
the first DVD I've had this problem on.
HOWEVER, and this is a BIG however, if you are a fan, this DVD
is absolutely essential. On most of the songs, where the voice
is front and center, Jane is absolutely spellbinding. I was a
big fan back in her early years, but kind of lost interest due
to some of the shall we say "corny" choice of material. To tell
you the truth, I hadn't really paid a lot of attention after her
third album until the last year or so. I must say that Jane's
singing is warmer and more amazing than ever. You can tell that
her range is slightly lower, but that's natural with the passing
of time. It is more than made up for by her still-gorgeous tone,
her wise phrasing and her surprisingly welcoming stage presence.
I saw her Carnegie Hall debut in 1977 (78?) and she kind of left
me cold. The Jane Olivor on this DVD is full of warmth and good
humor, and you can tell she is loving every minute of the show.
My favorite performances are "Pretty Girl", "Some Enchanted
Evening", "How Are Things In Glocca Morra", "Stay The Night"
and a (for her) jazzy version of "I Got The Sun In The Morning".
It's a wonderful show, and her voice sounds as beautiful and
delicate at the end of the show as it did at the beginning.
Welcome Back, Jane!
One quibble: Don't people get dressed up to go ANYWHERE these
days? Jane is dressed to the nines in a very flattering outfit,
and half the audience is in T-shirts and sneakers! Whatever.....
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2004
Of course, this DVD is essential for anyone who is a Jane Olivor fan. More importantly, it belongs in the library of someone who is not yet a fan. Once they see her, they will be totally entranced by her range of material, her interpretations and her delivery. She is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and gifted singers of our time.
The musicians who accompany her are also talented. They listen to one another and work together flawlessly.
If this DVD were a piece of clothing in my closet, it would be a tattered, worn-out mess. I have had this disc only a few days, but have played it over and over. Each time I see it, something new appears, a vocal takes on new meaning, or another delicious nuance of her performance comes through.
Jane looks comfortable and confident, and she seems to be thoroughly enjoying herself. This is wonderful. I sincerely hope she has overcome her stage fright. It sure looks as if she has, for her performance on this disc is positively breathtaking.
There is only one thing that bothers me, and it has nothing to do with the production, the performance or the venue. I would not have been able to pinpoint it without the help of one of the other online reviewers. When Jane goes into the audience on Carousel of Love, you will see it. Don't Bostonians know how to dress? One would think these people were going bowling instead of to a fabulous concert. Their insensitive attire of blue jeans, sneakers and farm suspenders is an embarrassment to Boston society.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2004
I remember listening to Jane's "First Night" album for the first time, years ago when I was a teenager. The New York Times had given it a SPECTACULAR review, and I rushed out to buy it. Once home, out of my speakers came a glimmering, totally unique voice, issuing from a singer whose acting and interpretive talents were beyond comparison. Surely as great as Streisand, but really nothing like her, except for their exquisite attention to melody. Jane's song choices were often obscure, but arrestingly dramatic gems. Everyone who heard her playing in my house stopped dead in their tracks and asked "Who IS THAT???". I stimulated so many new fans to purchase her recordings, I could have been her press agent! Jane's four follow-up albums were all just as magnificent as "First Night" and all just as unique, each in their own right. Her music formed a backdrop for my life, highs and lows, for many years.
Then, for anyone who's unfamiliar with the story, Jane suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. She says it was for ten years, but it sure seemed longer, more like a century! There were more bizarre rumors about the reasons for her sudden absence from the music scene than there were conspiricy theories about the death of JFK and Area 51!! Not knowing what had really happened to her left a gigantic hole in my heart. Corny, but true. When a new CD, "Love Decides", suddenly appeared in 2000, I almost wept with relief, and from the flood of memories that her voice, still a treasure, released in me.
Whew! Now for "Safe Return" and the accompanying CD of her live performance at Berklee College of Music. To tell the truth, I did not expect that she could be, after all these years, as good as she had been, and she isn't. She is better, light years better, and that is not an exaggeration. Most notably, Ms. Olivor seems to be totally at ease and full of joy in front of her audience (I remember shaking hands with Jane during a sweltering outdoor performance in July years ago when her hand was ICE-cold from nerves). A lot of her new material is quite playful, and her audience patter is charming and fascinating. Most importantly, although she humbly excuses the loss of a few high notes in the DVD interview, those notes are DEFINITELY still there, floating and gorgeous as ever. And it's a L-O-N-G set of songs that would exhaust anybody else, but Jane navigates through to the very last song as buoyantly as if it were the first. Remarkable.
As good as the CD is, the DVD IS awesome: amazing sound quality in 5.1 or dts options; a revealing, funny, bittersweet interview with Jane; and she looks mah-velous. I will say that Jane appears to have a different nose than she did years ago, and I much prefer the regal, original one that God gave her. Whatever she may have had altered, I'd like to think was a physical neccessity as opposed to a question of appearance, but either way, the change has not affected her vocal quality at all.
If you've never heard or heard of Jane Olivor before, and you're thinking of delving into an extraordinary new musical experience, you'll love "Safe Return", or any of Jane's recordings. I give you my 100% guarantee.
And Janie, if you're reading this, a million thank-you's for all the respect and utter pleasure you've given your fans over the years. You have been as loyal to us as we've been to you, and a million years would not be too long to wait to see and hear you again.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2004
Fulfilling what was merely hinted at in her earlier 1982 IN CONCERT recording (also at Boston's Berklee -- who knew it was such a tiny, little hall?), Jane Olivor's concert recording SAFE RETURN is simply masterful, never less than wonderful and many times outright genius.
Olivor's emotive, heartfelt style here is never manufactured, but, gratefully, genuine throughout. And your heart will never remain unchanged after seeing this DVD and, in particular, those tracks of absolute genius: a transcendent "Brooklyn Roads", an impassioned "Run For The Roses" (the earlier recording pales by comparison), a heavenly "Some Enchanted Evening", a heartrending "Pretty Girl", a kickass "One More Ride on the Merry Go Round", and, above all, the achingly gorgeous "Daydreams" by the incomparable Georges Delerue and Jason Darrow. And, by gum, that Eartha Kitt bite we heard from Olivor way back on FIRST NIGHT is back. If someone would write a musical (about sisters, perhaps?) for Olivor and Betty Buckley to star in together, that would indeed be a sight and sound to behold.
Production values are stellar, and the DVD 5.1/dts sound is gorgeous.
Okay, a very minor couple of caveats. Olivor skillfully but far too often refers to her Linus blanket (i.e., the teleprompter), but hey, with one night only riding on your back and bank account and with some 27 plus songs (especially when there've been concerts when scarcely 12 songs could be eked out of her in a night) and the famous stage fright issues, well, let the teleprompter roll. And for a city (Boston) whose citizens pride themselves on their sense of style and fashion, where did this audience come from? Does anyone know how to dress for an event anymore? Or put down their forks? Generally speaking, aside from Eric Conway (the pianist) and one shaved head guy, where are all of the hotties? Is Olivor's audience really this old? In that case, someone should drag in an audience of under 40s to learn about Olivor, who here takes her place forever in the pantheon of Piaf, Garland, and Midler.
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION -- a must have.