Carole King – Live at Montreux 1973 – Eagle Vision EVO21092 – CD/DVD Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1 – 1973
Audio – ***1/2
Video – ***
Most every pop/rock music fan I knew in the early 1970s, while I was attending college, had the Carole King album, Tapestry. The cover was comforting, with Carole wearing well worn jeans sitting on a bench seat, holding a tapestry with her cat next to her. We all got to know the lead singles, “It’s Too Late/ “I Feel the Earth Move” and its winning mix of pop songs with strong piano accompaniment fit in well with the relaxed vibe that it brought. The public certainly agreed, as it sold over 25 million copies worldwide, and it was ranked #36 of the Top 500 all time albums on Rolling Stone. The song writing skills she acquired while working at the Brill building in New York helped her compose her own winning compositions.
In 1973, her second album, Fantasy, was issued. Shortly following the second album release, King went on her first world tour. The Montreux live performance was part of their famous jazz festival. To fully support her tour, her label has well known jazz artists backing Ms. King. Just six weeks before this date, she headlined a free concert at Central Park in New York City, that drew 100,000 people.
Carole admitted to the Swiss audience at the Montreux audience at the Pavilion that it was her first time ever outside of the US. She appears a bit nervous and her voice occasionally cracks during early vocals, but the young audience appears in awe and is adoring in their adulation. Her fame had certainly preceded her visit. After the first five solo tunes, she brought out her veteran jazz backing band. It is here that their expertise helped relax Carole, and the energy and joy flows. The full band performs nearly all of her second LP, and two versions of the title track “Fantasy” are performed. There is a polish that the horn section led by Tom Scott, George Bohanon, and Oscar Brashear provide. Bobbye Hall’s percussion is featured. Carole shows a prowess on the piano that is a joy to see on video.
Few people know that she co-wrote the classic tune, “Up on the Roof.” Her version, here at Montreux is a winner. As an encore, King returns solo to perform “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Natural Woman.”
The audio on this set is more than adequate, but the video quality is lacking, as there are several occasions of unintentional blurring, and the close-ups and tight shots can be distracting. However, the charm and joy of King and the band, wins out. Fans of Carole will find lots to like here, and Eagle Vision has the this CD/DVD set priced attractively.
Carole King – piano, vocals; George Bohanon – trombone; Oscar Brashear – trumpet; Gene Goe – trumpet; Bobbye Hall – percussion; Dick Hyde – trombone; Charles Larkey – bass; Harvey Mason – drums; Clarence McDonald – piano; Special guests: Tom Scott – saxophone; David T. Walker – guitar
I Feel the Earth Move
Up On the Roof
It’s too Late
You’ve Been Around Too Long
Being at War with Each Other
That’s How Things Go Down
A Quiet Place to Live
You Light Up My Life
Believe in Humanity
You’ve Got a Friend
(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman