Studio: DAS Entertainment/Image Entertainment
Video: 4:3 color
Audio: DTS 5.1, DTS 2.0, PCM stereo
Extras: Interviews with Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Claude Nobs
Length: 64 minutes for concert only
(with Chester Thompson, keyboards; Patrice Rushen, keyboards; Alphonso Johnson, bass; Armando Peraza, congas; Jose Chepito Areas, timbales; Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, drums)
Bill Graham, impresario of San Francisco’s famous Fillmore venue, was involved in the creative blend of jazz, rock, and Latin that was the bailiwick of this tremendous band. The two performers had been friends for years and the idea of working together began almost as a lark, but eventually resulted in a 26-concert tour and this striking performance in Switzerland, which was videotaped and recorded in surround sound. It was released first in Japan a few years ago and now has been issued in the U.S. as both this DVD and as a double-CD disc set set for release March 27.
You might want to watch the three interviews first, although a few clips from them are integrated into the last few numbers in the concert. Santana speaks about the natural flow and blending of their two genres of music, and what a hero Shorter has been for him over the years. Shorter talks mainly about his philosophy of life and his approach to music in general. The third interview is with the founder and director of the Montreux festival, Claude Nobs. He speaks of traveling to San Francisco earlier in the 80s and meeting Bill Graham.
The concert is a gas-and-a-half; both lead performers turn in one blazing solo after another. The 4:3 images are quite good for 1988, considering the low-level lighting. The variety of Latin percussion surrounding the listener adds immeasurably to the feeling of being at the concert. In fact the surround effects will probably be much better than you would ever get at a live concert! I’m not an especial fan of long rock guitar solos, but Santana’s never seem too long or self-indulgent – just plain stirring!
TrackList: Spiritual – Peraza – Shhh – Incident at Neshabur – Elegant People – Goodness & Mercy – Sanctuary – For Those Who Chant – Blues for Salvador – Fireball 2000 – Ballroom in the Sky – Once It’s Gotcha – Mandela – Deeper, Dig Deeper – Europa
– John Henry