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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 5/9/02

Eastwood After Hours:
Live at Carnegie Hall

2002 (2002) - Warner Bros.

review by Matt Rowe of The Digital Bits

Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall Program Rating: C+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B-/B/C

Specs and Features

106 mins, NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, Eastwood After Dark behind-the-scenes documentary, crew notes, production notes, program-themed menu screens, scene selections (27 chapters - see track listing below), languages: English (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, Closed Captioned

The most surprising thing that can be said about Hollywood's most vicious and fearless head buster, is that he's one of the world's most respected jazz connoisseurs. And having said that, how could the jazz community give back to a man who has incorporated the musical style into almost all of the movies that he's ever directed? Simple. You assemble a fine selection of jazz greats and have them perform renditions of the songs from his films.

On October 17th 1996, a collection of jazz performers came together to celebrate Mr. Eastwood and his love of the genre. Gathered in Carnegie Hall, a venerable venue that entertains even the ghosts of the past, the men and women of jazz recreated, rather spectacularly, Clint's musical selections from the many films of his directing career.

This disc showcases that evening with the introductions and performances of many of jazz's brightest names. There's Thelonius Monk, Jr., the son of perhaps one of the most important performers/pianists in the genre, who himself has contributed much to music, first as a blues musician, more recently emerging as a jazz superstar. Kenny Barron, who has worked with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie and James Moody, also lends his expert talents to this concert production. And, of course, there's a memorable performance of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by the inimitable Jimmy Scott.

The Kyle Eastwood Quartet also makes an appearance on this evening. Clint tells a story, in one of the many discussion vignettes that precedes sets throughout the DVD, of how his son came to be coached on the bass by the able tutelage of Bunny Burnell. All said, this disc provides you with some pretty wonderful presentations covering many jazz styles, like the scat vocals of Kevin Mohagany and the ultra cool "hep" displays of musical prowess by Monk, McBride, Barron and Harris. Hell, even Clint couldn't sit in that balcony seat the whole time, joining in for a number playing the piano. And he wasn't too bad either... except the closing credits cut him off. Oh, and we shouldn't forget that most of the performances are rounded out by the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, a group of proficient musicians that fused the evening together and complemented each individual that graced the stage.

But while the performances were pleasant to listen to, there were some irritations in the presentation. Interspersed throughout the show are stills of past jazz greats and more annoying interruptions in the form of very brief, and absolutely useless, clips of the Eastwood films the selection being played was from. Someone's senseless idea of what clips complemented the musical selection REALLY put a damper on the whole experience, especially those that incorporated voice. My suggestion is to turn off your TV and just listen to the music.

In terms of quality, this disc is pretty sparing. Its audio provides only a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which sounds quite good but really should have been a 5.1 mix considering that this was a musical offering. The video is serviceable, in its original standard full frame television presentation.

The disc also includes a short behind-the-scenes documentary, entitled Eastwood After Dark, which lasts about 10 minutes and showcases the concert. In it, Clint also gives his spiel about how he came to love jazz and how he passed that love onto his son. It's a minimal offering designed to compliment Eastwood on his love for jazz. There's also the standard Warner crew listing and production notes detailing the responsible parties for the DVD.

My take on this disc is that it's moderately interesting, but too many of the performances are marred by the film clips I mentioned above, which really reduce impact of the DVD dramatically. The disc gives a few memorable and moving performances but, sadly, not enough to save it from bargain bin obscurity.

Matt Rowe
[email protected]
Visit Matt Rowe's MusicTAP ------ Music Flows There!

Track Listing and Performer(s):

Misty - Kenny Barron and Barry Harris
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Jimmy Scott, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride and Kenny Washington
Hootie's Blues - Jay McShann, Christian McBride and Kenny Washington
San Antonio Rose - Claude Williams, Jay McShann, Christian McBride and Kenny Washington
This Time the Dream's on Me - Kyle Eastwood Quartet
Satin Doll - Kenny Mahogany and The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Doe Eyes - The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Jitterbug Waltz - The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Take Five - The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Claudia's Theme - The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Tightrope - James Rivers and The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly & Rawhide - The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Misty - The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Straight No Chaser - Kenny Barron, Barry Harris, Christian McBride and Thelonius Monk Jr.
'Round Midnight - Gary LeMel, Kenny Barron, Barry Harris, Christian McBride and Thelonius Monk Jr.
I See Your Face Before Me - Kevin Mahogany, Roy Hargrove, Barry Harris, Christian McBride and Thelonius Monk Jr
Cherokee - Charles McPherson and The Carnegie Hall Band
Laura - James Carter, Barry Harris, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington
I Didn't Know What Time it Was - Barry Harris, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington
Parker's Mood - James Moody, Barry Harris, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington
These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) - Joshua Redman, Barry Harris, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington
Lester Leaps In - Joshua Redman, James Rivers, James Moody, Roy Hargrove, Charles McPherson, James Carter and Flip Philips
After Hours & CE Blues - Clint Eastwood, Jay McShann, James Moody, Roy Hargrove and The Carnegie Hall Band

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