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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

DeJohnette, Hancock, Holland, Metheney

Live in Concert
Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA
Arthaus DVD 100 184

  1. Shadow Dance
  2. Indigo Dreamscapes
  3. Nine over Reggae
  4. Solar
  5. Silver Hollow
  6. The Good Life
  7. Blue
  8. Hurricane
  9. The Bat
  10. Canteloupe Island

Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Herbie Hancock - Piano and Keyboards
Dave Holland - Bass
Pat Metheney - Guitars

This was a gathering of musicians who were already acknowledged by both the public and their peers as being at the top of their profession. All but Metheney had been part of the influential Miles Davies groups. DeJohnette is an excellent pianist, composer and arranger as well as being a star percussionist. Herbie Hancock is probably the leading pianist of recent times; he is also an excellent Big Band arranger and composer of some fine melodies, two of which Hurricane and Cantaloupe Island are played here. Dave Holland got his experience on the London jazz scene playing with Tubby Hayes and then Ronnie Scott before 'getting the call' to join Miles Davies in 1968. Pat Metheney has been one of the most successful musicians on the world scene drawing his influences from Rock, Pop and Country as well as jazz.

I must admit that after the first three numbers, I was wondering whether I could listen to 99 minutes of this. Mostly I could not just work out what was going on, until track 4, the Miles Davis classic Solar, when I could here a recognisable chord sequence and understand what the group was doing. After that I enjoyed all the music particularly the playing of Herbie Hancock which is outstanding throughout. DeJohnette is also a very impressive performer and it is easy to see why Miles imported Dave Holland, even though the States has many fine Bass players. Pat Metheny is still a mystery to me, his compositions to me lack melodic content and his solos have too many electric gadgets for my taste. I am hoping that just as this band grew on me, I will start to enjoy Metheney more with repeated hearing, with the respect and reputation he enjoys, he has just got to be good!

The DVD media is well used and although this is a 1990 recording, I am sure it will appeal to all followers of contemporary jazz.

Don Mather

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