City Rhythm Orchestra with special guest Joey De Francesco on B3 = Vibrant Tones – Video DVD & separate CD – Limehouse Records

by | Jul 28, 2005 | CD+DVD | 0 comments

City Rhythm Orchestra with special guest Joey De Francesco on
B3 = Vibrant Tones (Directors: Peter Spina & Nick Vallerio) – Video
DVD & separate CD – Limehouse Records LMS77112, 60:05, 73:04 ****:

City Rhythm is a 17-piece big band with some great arrangements leaning
toward a Basie influence.  In the 2003 video they are performing
at dusk and into the evening at a park on the banks of the Delaware
River in Camden, N.J., with the Philadelphia skyline in the background.
De Francesco and his B3 Hammond are front and center and featured
strongly in most of the tunes.  On Pennies From Heaven he even
gets up to roam the stage a bit and do a vocal. The 4:3 image video is
quite good, though one of the cameras is grossly out of focus and
stands out whenever its viewpoint is selected in editing. Also, there
is little light on De Francesco and his B3 early in the video as he
plays mostly in the dark. As night descends the artificial lighting
sees to a better visual presentation.   The stereo PCM sound
is fine, with plenty of low end from the mighty B3’s pedals. But upon
listening to the separate CD recording in a NYC studio, the improved
balances and impact of the CD over the DVD audio are apparent.

There is one more track on the CD than on the DVD, and the tunes are in
a different order plus some entirely different tunes. The 13 horns in
the band were set up in a semicircle for the 2001 studio recording,
giving a feeling of a live show and keeping the players at a high
energy level. The balance with the B3 is also superior to the DVD
soundtrack. In One Mint Julep you are able to hear all the verbal
interjections which are mostly inaudible on the DVD. This two-disc
approach strikes me as a really useful way to provide both a CD for
mobile and audio-only use plus a DVD for enjoyable home theater
display. Plus you get a full-length video of the band and De Francesco
performing instead of just some stills of the performers and a few
on-screen paragraphs about them, as with most DualDiscs.  And
there are no concerns about compatibility of the discs in their
respective players.

DVD Tracks: Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, The Cat, The Midnight
Sun Will Never Set, Pennies from Heaven, Moanin,’ Senor Blues, Billie’s
Bounce, One Mint Julep, Walk on the Wild Side, Whirly Bird, Peter Gunn.

CD Tracks: Senor Blues, Time After Time, The Cat, Billie’s Bounce, Walk
on the Wild Side, Blues in Hoss’ Flat, It Could Happen to You, One Mint
Julep, It Ain’t Necessarily So, Whirly Bird, The Midnight Sun Will
Never Set, Turn Me Loose.

– John Henry

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