Peter Bernstein Trio, Live at Smoke (2005)

by | Oct 30, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Peter Bernstein Trio, Live at Smoke (2005)

Bernstein, guitar; Larry Goldings B3 organ; Bill Stewart, drums
Studio: Mel Bay Publications MB20961DVD
Video: 4:3 color
Audio: PCM mono
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: **

The New York jazz club Smoke is rather small if the claustrophobic
appearance of this rather low-res video is any indication.  The
viewpoint of the main camera showing all three performers never moves
except for closeups of guitarist Bernstein’s hands or the keyboard of
Goldings. And waitresses walk back and forth in front of the camera
blotting out the image of the players. While the DVD is dedicated to
the memory of audio enginer David Baker, the sound is so-so mono, which
seems inexcuseable on a contemporary DVD. There is very little deep
bass – so important to the feeling of the special B3 sound. This might
have seemed a very worthwhile music video 20 years ago but not today.

Peter Bernstein is one of the finest jazz guitarists working today, and
Goldings is one of the standouts on the B3. Bernstein plays a hollow
body guitar and never improvises himself too far from the basic
melody.  Most of the eight tunes are ballads and rather low-level
in dynamics – seldom any real fireworks from either the guitar or
organ, though a few from the drummer, as one would expect from most
drummers.

Tracks: Dragonfly, Jive Coffee, Spring is Here, Puttin’ On the Ritz, Bobblehead, I Should Care, The Acrobat, Night Mist Blues.

– John Henry

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