MTH-V: Montreux Redux

As mentioned in my previous post, I saw a burnin’ lineup at Montreux Jazz Festival‘s Miles Davis Hall this past July. For this “return post” in the MTH-V series, I thought I’d feature some live clips of those three groups: James Carter Organ Trio, Spectrum Road, and Neneh Cherry & The Thing.

Below is perhaps my favorite single James Carter clip on YouTube. It’s a full concert from Germany in 2004, the year his Organ Trio – with fellow Detroiters Gerard Gibbs and Leonard King – began. (I saw them that spring at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall and they blew the roof off the place.) Since then they’ve been tearing it up across the globe and through two official releases: Out of Nowhere and At The Crossroads. (Those musicians are also featured on Live At Baker’s Keyboard Lounge.) Do watch the full concert if you have time, but if you don’t the first tune alone (Eddie Harris’s “Winter Meeting”) sums it up pretty well, especially Carter’s final chorus. An interesting tidbit from the Montreux performance: Carter eulogized both Whitney Houston and Andy Griffith (whom died that week). He based the opening cadenza for “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone” on Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You,” and then for his last chorus on “JC On The Set” he quotedThe Andy Griffith Show’s theme song over the rhythm changes.

Next up, Spectrum Road. This is a live clip taken about ten days before I saw them. It includes a bit of everything: solos by Reid, Medeski, and Santana, and vocals by Jack Bruce. While Reid may show off a bit more than I’d like, the group works quite well as a unit. And Medeski always brings the madness, of course. Spectrum Road is a tribute to The Tony Williams Lifetime, one of the first fusion bands. If only I had a clip of when John McLaughlin made a surprise appearance at the end of the Montreux set…

Capping off this post, and the Montreux set, is Neneh Cherry & The Thing. This is one of the better, more representative videos I could find with decent audio and video quality. I wasn’t aware of either group, let along their collaboration, before purchasing my ticket. But I can safely say that I’m now a fan and would love to see them again. It’s not for the faint of heart. But it is lovely…

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