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

3.9 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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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

None.

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 (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JL2V2E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,384 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
In itself a wonderful registration of what must have been an awesome show. With the exception of "Tiger in the spotlight" which is too silly to talk about, the set list is exactly what you'd expect. And after 25 or so years, ELP is still a great and very professional band (even though they - once again - appear not to be talking much to one another).

Plus: This may be the only chance to see a Moog #1 synth live in action. With the promise of crisp pic and audio. And the pic quality is very good indeed.

Minus: I have an issue with the audio mix, though. The rear surround speakers are way too loud and drown out the front speakers including Greg's vocals. And the bass guitar is hardly audible - you would be forgiven for believing this is a synth & drums outfit. My subwoofer didn't even kick in. I found myself downgrading to the PCM stereo mix to improve my listening experience. That is not what you'd expect from a HD-Master sound track.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If you're an ELP fan, and I one of their biggest fans, this DVD will help you remember the days when rock ROCKED! This DVD has excellent video and audio, no weakness in either.

The program gives a full overview of the masters of Classic / Jazz & Rock fusion that is ELP. While I would have loved to have full versions of Tarkus, Pictures at an Exhibition and Karnevil 9, the time allowed me to enjoy one of the best groups ever.

Don't pass on this DVD at a great price.
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