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Ray Charles: Live at Montreux 1997 [Blu-ray]

48 customer reviews

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(Dec 09, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Ray Charles was one of the true pioneers of soul music. This concert was filmed on 19 July 1997 at what was to be Ray Charles' last appearance at Montreux, some two decades after he first took to the stage there. Born in Georgia in 1930 he was one of the first performers to mix Gospel, R&B and Jazz to create a new form of black Pop music that would come to be known as Soul. His voice and delivery were strikingly different and instantly recognizable. He had his first hits in the early 50's and was still hitting the charts into the 21st century. His death in June 2004 was front page news around the world and was followed by the award winning biographical movie "Ray". Eagle Vision.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Charles, Raelettes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JL2V2E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2010
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Comment: Usually I don't like old farts giving concerts that represents the music they were able to make when they were young. I usually don't get the same "vibe" because it isn't the same sound I remember... analog and distorted. This Blu-ray changes that by starting out moderately and building to a crescendo that if you can stand to raise your volume to live concert levels (and your neighbors don't mind) you will get an experience that matches the concerts of younger days. The picture is stellar... giving you an up close and personal look at three aging rockers that can still knock your sox off! If you are a fan of EL&P... buy this Blu-ray.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zeek the Geek on June 19, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have been a serious ELP listener since I bought their first LP, and have purchased several DVD's of their performances from the 70's, only to be disappointed by the abysmal sound and video quality. So I was glad to see that a stage performance was available in Blu-ray and 5.1 surround. I was also happy to read mostly glowing reviews of the disc on the Amazon site. So I bit, and now have my own review to offer.

I agree with most other reviewers that this disc was better than expected, but not all that you would like it to be either. My personal take in this disc: Performance=4, Picture=4, Sound=3.

I feel that considering their age (and mine), ELP gave a fine show. Energy and musicianship is about as good as you can expect. The disc showcases some of the best material of their career, especially those from ELP(first), Tarkus, Trilogy, Pictures, and BSS. However I have a hard time appreciating the selections from the later, and justly unsuccessful, LPs after BSS.

On the production quality side, this is certainly not the "technical audio and video gem" opined by another reviewer. It is a Montreux Jazz Festival Production, with post at their own facilities.

I checked with other web reviews of the disc to confirm my conclusions about audio quality, which are:
- Greg Lake's vocals are pretty badly buried in the mix, not center channel as you would expect, but disembodied in the L, R, and surrounds. Thankfully his guitars are well presented, especially the acoustic.
- Keith's keyboards are well recorded and mixed. No complaints except: why didn't he use his original Moog more than he did?
- Carl's drums are "all there", but not up front in the mix like they should be in a power-trio.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By G. Tillery on July 19, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Well to start Ive been a diehard #1 fan of ELP since I got BSS for my 16th birthday in 1976. Any serious ELP fan will find something to love about this Bluray. I love it because Im in the Home Theater biz so its a technical audio and video gem of the band I have loved and admired for 30+ yrs..
That being said most will have to agree, if they are honest, that most of the magic that made ELP a progressive rock legend is sadly gone. The laser intensity, the seamless, mind blowing musicianship has given way to a tired and obviously puppet like performance. Obvious is Keith's degenerative, now 3 finger playing and Greg's sorely lacking ANY real energy or soul in his performance. Carl is still Carl the one and only, banging away with much energy and is probably the cohesive bond still bringing these guys together.
I found the TARKUS arrangement to be the highlight and was played with as much more enthusiasm than most of the other songs (biased you bet).
To me the sound is excellent and earned an extra star.
The video looks great but the camera editing is amateurish at best with very annoying and awkward scene changes and panning.
Im sure to play this BR many times to come....... just sighing at the end wishing for the good ol days.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dr Chuang Wei Ping on December 16, 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
All I had was a ONE STAR review to guide me when I bought this blu-ray. I did not even have a playlist of songs. But this is Ray Charles. Even on a bad day, how bad can Ray get? So I took a leap of faith.

The Picture Quality was fabulous, even for a 1080i, not 1080p. Sound was great. I prefer the PCM 2.0 track to the DTS as I use old fashioned (but high end) speakers. The sound was great. Until Ray Charles started singing. The volume of his voice and keyboard (no piano) was low. I too would have rated this Blu-ray a ONE STAR affair if this was the only criterion. In actual concerts, getting drowned out by the very comprehensive orchestra is not totally unexpected. The mike volume could have been pushed up for Ray in an edited recording. Other than this blemish, I felt like I was actually at the concert.

This is not standard Ray Charles fare. It is off his beaten path. It is certainly not a Best of Ray Charles, or Ray singing his greatest hits concert. For familiar Ray, refer to "Genius Loves Company". Missing from this performance are, inter alia, You are the Sunshine of my Life, Unchain my Heart, Hit the Road Jack and other Ray Charles standards. The only familiar one to me was track 5 "Georgia on My Mind". Ray is doing non-standard fare which is not usually found in his other compendiums. Hence the high rating. Lets be reasonable: the orchestra, and the whole company,did not go all the way to Switzerland to perform the familiar stuff. This concert builds on the familiar repertoire.

I have no complaints about visual or audio quality, which is great considering the vintage of the material. It could have been recorded yesterday: you cannot really tell when the recording was made if 1997 was not so boldly printed on the artwork.
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Ray Charles: Live at Montreux 1997 [Blu-ray]
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