Studio: Original Artists/EuroArts/Distr. by Naxos
Video: 4:3 full screen, no region code
Audio: PCM Stereo
Length: 43 minutes
Videotaped at a concert he gave at the Walker Art Center in
Minneapolis, this video features only vocalist McFerrin and his amazing
interactions with his audience. His improvised rhythms, sounds,
tunes and lyrics are impressive enough, but the manner in which he
works with the various audience members – revealing his warm reaching
out personality – is sure to put a big smile on the face of any
viewer. I was wondering if his smallish audience wasn’t seeded
with some chorus singers, because nearly everyone he poked his mike
toward was able to come up with a vocalization or sound that fit
perfectly into the improvisation McFerrin was doing. One bit was
just asking people if they ever sang their first name, and then he
created some tunes from some of the names. A highlight was his asking a
man to create a blues with him, and they came up with a terrific one –
several verses long.
The PCM stereo is clean and wide range, but it was bothersome to me to
hear the audience sounds all coming from the front where McFerrin was.
So I switched to Pro Logic II and it magically placed the audience
responses behind me with McFerrin up front – instant
surround! The image side is the only beef I would pick with
this DVD, aside from wanting the concert to go on longer. Lighting was
poor, especially on the audience, and since they were a major part of
the show, the very dark images were annoying.
Selections: Harmonizin,’ Try This At Home, In the Morning, Staccato
Groove, Opera-Style, The Short-Scratching Song, Ducks, The Name Song,
Head in My Bed Blues, Calypso Song, More Singin,’ Folk Rap, Walkin’ On
the Beat, Out We Go.
– John Sunier