Although the 2-CD set of the concert was released on Malpaso/Warner Records in 1997, it seemed inevitable that such a stellar assembly of veteran and new blood jazz greats was videotaped for posterity - you just don't mount a gala tribute with Clint Eastwood as honoree, and not preserve the evening in some way.
Edited and released in a 106 minute video, the final product is a mixed blessing, with often abrupt movie clips (some with dialogue) and stills of jazz greats (without any captions for jazz novitiates) interrupting the performances. The music still plays, but part of the point in capturing a live event is to faithfully recreate it for the home viewer. The clips and stills do put some of the selected jazz standards in context - in terms of their appearance in Eastwood films - but cutting away from a musician experiencing a performance high is just wrong.
The basic Dolby Surround mix is pleasant, although the interrupted performances - particularly Eastwood's solo on the final "After Hours" piece - is better enjoyed on the unfettered CD. Most of the action occurs on the brightly lit stage, and only low-light audience shots - Eastwood in the balcony, and a few grainy wide shots of the hall - experience minor artifacting.
The musical sets are often bridged with segments from a post-concert interview with Eastwood in an empty soundstage, and the actor briefly reflects on key songs, film scores, performers, and composers, particularly trumpet player/Carnegie Hall Music Director John Faddis and composer/arranger/orchestrator par excellence Lennie Niehaus. Though both men have worked with Eastwood on film scores, the unifying gel is the late Jerry Fielding, a brilliant film composer who relied on Niehaus' orchestrating skills on numerous Eastwood and Sam Peckinpah-directed films in the seventies; Faddis joined the family in 1977, prominently performing on "The Gauntlet" soundtrack.
Warner's DVD contains brief text menus regarding the film and writer/producer/director Bruce Ricker, and a short documentary, "Eastwood After Dark," comprised of pre-concert Eastwood snippets from a Carnegie Hall press conference, and short hallway sound bites with the musicians. Son and bassist Kyle Eastwood (who performs a great set in the video with his own quartet) and Lennie Niehaus have a bit more time to speak about the evening's purpose, and while not deep on facts, the overall tone is warm and fuzzy.
© 2002 Mark R. Hasan
Site designed for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 16M colours, and optimized for MS Explorer 6.0. KQEK Logo and All Original KQEK Art, Interviews, Profiles, and Reviews Copyright © 2001-Present by Mark R. Hasan. All Rights Reserved. Additional Review Content by Contributors 2001-Present used by Permission of Authors. Additional Art Copyrighted by Respective Owners. Reproduction of any Original KQEK Content Requires Written Permission from Copyright Holder and/or Author. Links to non-KQEK sites have been included for your convenience; KQEK is not responsible for their content nor their possible use of any pop-ups, cookies, or information gathering.