November 25: The Last Waltz was recorded in 1976 (full 4h20m concert)

Last-Waltz

This film should be played loud!

This is a message on a title card at the beginning of the film. The greatest concert movie ever made. This post concerns the movie, the audio releases have to wait for it’s own post.

Wikipedia:

The Last Waltz was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz was advertised as the end of The Band’s illustrious touring career, and the concert saw The Band joined by more than a dozen special guests, including Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles and Neil Young.

The event was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same name, released in 1978. The film features concert performances, scenes shot on a studio soundstage and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band. A triple-LP soundtrack recording, produced by Rob Fraboni, was issued in 1978. The film was released on DVD in 2002 as was a four-CD box set of the concert and related studio recordings.

Trailer:

I have several versions of the film, and I’ve seen many versions of it. I’ve seen it at the cinema, I’ve played it to death on video casette, I have two DVD releases , a blu-ray release and I’ve seen/heard quite a bit of bootlegs of the show.

This is a film that I’m really passionate about, and I have often wondered if there’s footage, filmed sequences, that is not in the official version. Whatever condition such film would be in was irrelevant, I wanted to see as much as possible of the legendary concert.

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February 05: Happy 72th Birthday Al Kooper

Al_Kooper

 

Al Kooper, by rights, should be regarded as one of the giants of ’60s rock, not far behind the likes of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in importance. …. he was a very audible sessionman on some of the most important records of mid-decade, including Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Kooper also joined and led, and then lost two major groups, the Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears. He played on two classic blues-rock albums in conjunction with his friend Mike Bloomfield. As a producer at Columbia, he signed the British invasion act the Zombies just in time for them to complete the best LP in their entire history; and still later, Kooper discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd and produced their best work.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)

Al Kooper Tribute:

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Great Album: Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night

Q: Why did you make this record now?
A: Now is the right time. I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard Willie [Nelson]’s Stardust record in the late 1970s. All through the years, I’ve heard these songs being recorded by other people and I’ve always wanted to do that. And I wondered if anybody else saw it the way I did.
~Bob Dylan (AARP interview – Feb 2015)

I love these songs, and I’m not going to bring any disrespect to them. To trash those songs would be sacrilegious. And we’ve all heard those songs being trashed, and we’re used to it. In some kind of ways you want to right the wrong.
~Bob Dylan (AARP interview – Feb 2015)

The great shock here, then, is Dylan’s singing. Dylan’s focus and his diction, after years of drowning in sandpaper, evoke his late-Sixties poise and clarity on John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline — also records of deceptive restraint and retrospect — with an eccentric rhythmic patience in the way he holds words and notes across the faint suggestions of tempo. It is not crooning. It is suspense: Dylan, at 73, keeping fate at arm’s length as he looks for new lessons, nuance and solace in well-told tales.
~David Fricke (rollingstone.com – Feb 2015)

..But while Shadows In The Night is nostalgic, it is not sentimental. As a celebration of classic songcraft, it is as sincere as any of Dylan’s many forays into traditional American roots idioms. But how does Sinatra measure up to Dylan’s other early heroes? “Right from the beginning he was there with the truth of things in his voice,” Dylan wrote in the days after Sinatra’s death. “His music had a profound influence on me, whether I knew it or not. He was one of the very few singers who sang without a mask.” Shadows In The Night, then, is Dylan’s way of saying thank you.
~Michael Bonner (uncut.co.uk – Jan 2015)

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