Carlos Santana: Presents Blues at Montreux 2004 (Blu-ray) 2009 DTS-HD Master Audio

 The Montreux Jazz Festival goes back to its roots with this very special blues concert. Filmed in 2004, the show features some of the finest blues guitar playing around from three of the genre's greatest luminaries: Bobby Parker, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, and Buddy Guy. Guitar legend Carlos Santana provides the musical direction, bringing a touch of America's Deep South to the shores of Lake Geneva. Rovi Rating:


Bobby Parker

1. Straight Up No Chaser

2. Break It Up

3. Breaking Up Somebody's Home

4. Nothing But The Blues

5. So Glad I Found You

6. I Ain't Superstitious

7. It's Unfair

8. Going Down Slow

9. Chill Out (with Carlos Santana)

10. Mellow Down Easy (with Carlos Santana)

11. Watch Your Step (with Carlos Santana) 

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown

1. Bits and Pieces

2. Strange Things Happen

3. I'm Beginning To See The Light

4. Sunrise Cajun Style

5. Honey Boy

6. Further On Up The Road

7. I've Got My Mojo Working (with Carlos Santana & Buddy Guy)

8. Drifter (with Carlos Santana)

9. Grape Jelly (with Carlos Santana)

10. Okie Dokie Stomp (with Carlos Santana & Nile Rodgers)

Buddy Guy

1. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

2. Louise McGhee

3. Done Got Old

4. Hoochie Coochie Man

5. Fever

6. Drowning On Dry Land

7. Stormy Monday (with Carlos Santana)

8. Jam Session I (with Carlos Santana & Bobby Parker)

9. So Many Roads So Many Trains (with Carlos Santana & Bobby Parker)

10. Jam Session II (with Carlos Santana, Nile Rodgers & Bobby Parker

Living legend Buddy Guy, also a Louisiana-native, has influenced such musicians as Jimmi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Mark Knopfler. Guy became successful after he relocated from Baton Rouge to Chicago in the late 50s, where he performed at a number of different blues clubs, and eventually got a record deal. During the late 60s, however, he struggled enormously, and it took more than twenty years before he returned to prominence in the late 80s (partially die to Clapton's popularization of blues).

Guy performed a total of ten songs at the Montreux Jazz Festival, including such classics as "Stormy Monday" (with Santana), "Drowning on Dry Land" and Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man". The real jams in this set, however, are the acoustic guitar versions of Sonny Boy Williams' "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl", "Louise McGhee" and "Done Got Old". 

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080i "live" transfer, Carlos Santana Presents Blues at Montreux arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment. 

There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and LPCM 2.0. I opted for the Music DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the other two tracks for the purpose of this review. 

Out of the three sets included on this Blu-ray disc, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown's set is the most impressive one. His raw guitar sound is so rich, I literally felt as if I was right next to the legendary bluesman. During Buddy Guy's set there are some balance fluctuations, but the overall quality of the sound is still exceptionally high. Bobby Parker's set is just as good, with some truly impressive improvisations that will surely delight aspiring guitarists and casual blues aficionados. Finally, the crowd noise is well contained on all three sets.

The LPCM 2.0 track is quite strong. Dynamically, it does not impress as much as the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track does - particularly during the group sessions - but it is nevertheless of very high quality. For the record, I did not detect any annoying pops or cracks to report in this review.


Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Video resolution: 1080i

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1


English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: LPCM 2.0

English: Dolby Digital 5.1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

English: LPCM 2.0

English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (less) 



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