West Coast All Stars at JazzOpen Stuttgart 2001 (2002)

by | Apr 27, 2006 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

West Coast All Stars at JazzOpen Stuttgart 2001 (2002)

Performers: Conte Candoli, trumpet; Carl Fontana, trombone; Teddy Edwards, tenor sax; Peter Jolly, piano; Chuck Berghofer, bass; Joe LaBarbera, drums
Studio: SWR/EuroArts 2051497 (Distr. by Naxos)
Video: Enhanced for 16:9 widescreen, color
Audio: DTS 5.1, Dolby 5.1, PCM Stereo
Worldwide region code
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: ****

Both jazz and classical performances on DVD are getting better and better.  The quality of the video camerawork on this live jazz festival concert in Germany is some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of viewing.  It must have been shot in HD, and there are many closeups of each of the players.  You really feel as though you’re up on the stage with them.  Both the sounds and images are far better than anything you could expect by being there at the live concert. The provision of DTS surround with more music DVDs is part of the reason viewing these discs has become so satisfying. Sure, the straight PCM stereo option is very slightly more transparent, but the DTS surround option has great impact and puts you right in the middle of the hall as though you were there.  Only the most diehard two-channel anti-video fan would prefer to forego the wonderful images and surround sound for purist two-channel audio-only listening! But it’s there too if you want it.

I’ve been listening to some of these West Coast jazzmen for almost 50 years now but had never seen them in person or on the screen.  Pianist Pete Jolly looked younger than I had expected. And I recall having a favorite early prerecorded open reel tape featuring Conte Candoli on trumpet. The members of the All Stars made their debut at this Stuttgart festival, but they had never played together as a band before, had no written-out arrangements and little rehearsal time.  And you wouldn’t know it!  Would like to see a classical chamber music sextet perform under the same conditions.

The All Stars were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Lighthouse All Stars, which was the group Kenton bassist Howard Rumsey assembled in 1951 for his jazz club in Hermosa Beach, California. At the festival they played Bernie’s Tune, which had been on a 1953 LP “Sunday Jazz at the Lighthouse,” as well as Shorty Roger’s tune “Diablo’s Dance,” which he had recorded the same year and which here became a solo vehicle for the nimble fingers of Pete Jolly. Teddy Edwards also wrote and played an original saluting Rumsey, titled “One for Howard.”  Bassist Berghofer shines on his solo during “Old Folks,” and the most modern sound from these mostly senior jazzmen comes with the closer of Miles Davis’ “Walkin,” which brings the sextet to a rousing climax.

 – John Henry

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01
La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

Verve/Universal Music Group releases a re-mastered vinyl of an obscure, but highly entertaining 70’s album.