Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Sights and Sounds abound on new Blu-ray/DVD titles

Music lovers who enjoy watching top-tier performances via concert films, TV specials and music-minded movies have a handful of great new titles to add to their home library collections.

Artist: Santana
Title: Santana Live At US Festival (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: Santana, the US Festival
Tell me more: There have been many highlights in the career of groundbreaking artist Carlos Santana dating back to his legendary performance at Woodstock in August 1969. But his appearance at the fabled US Festival in Southern California on Sept. 4, 1982 is clearly among the standouts of recorded live appearances for his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame troupe Santana. The fast-moving set (Santana Live At US Festival) featured the master guitarist and his talented seven-member ensemble performing potent versions of his most beloved material including "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen," "Oye Como Va," and a cover of the Zombies' 1964 hit "She's Not There," the latter that segues into his own "Marbles." Keyboardist Herbie Hancock guests on the performance of "Incident at Neshabur." Santana also featured several new tracks off his August 1982 album Shangó including "Nowhere To Run" and "Hold On." Bonus features include additional interview segments with Carlos Santana. Santana Live At US Festival is set for release on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. Information: shoutfactory.com.

Artist: Queen + Béjart
Title: Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: Queen, Freddie Mercury, ballet
Tell me more: The magical connection between British rock quartet Queen and opera was confirmed with the success of the global 1975 hit "Bohemian Rhapsody." Queen's connection with classical music and the arts was further confirmed with the creation of "Ballet for Life," a collaboration between Queen, fashion great Gianni Versace and the late visionary choreographer Maurice Béjart first performed in January 1997. On Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, fans of Queen and ballet will want to get Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life, a compelling performance videotaped in June 1997 that fuses the music of Queen (along with several pieces composed by Mozart) with a performance by Béjart Ballet Lausanne. The theme of the dance choreography deals with the cycle of life with the tragic death of Freddie Mercury and Béjart's renowned principal dancer Jorge Donn  both of whom died of AIDS. There are several essential bonus features on the collection including a "Making Of" documentary from 1997; a deluxe edition of the title comes in a beautiful 36-page hardback photo book featuring photos from "Ballet for Life." Queen + Béjart: Ballet for Life will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital video. Information: www.eagle-rock.com.

Artists: Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, more
Title: CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015 (Time Life)
You might like if you enjoy: Traditional and modern country music, John Denver, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Clint Black, Luke Bryan
Tell me more: Country music aficionados will want to run out and get the outstanding CMA Awards Live: Greatest Moments 1968-2015, which offers up dozens and dozens of incredible performances originally aired as part of the Country Music Assocation's "CMA Awards" broadcast on television dating back to 1968. In addition to 127 country music classics that play out across 11 hours of footage, the 10-disc DVD set includes newly-produced bonus interviews and a 44-page collectible memory book filled with colorful images and important details about the CMA telecasts. The highlights abound across the set, stretching back to poignant turns from the late, great likes of Johnny Cash ("Folsom Prison Blues"), Glen Campbell ("By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Rhinestone Cowboy") and Merle Haggard ("Okie From Muskogee") all the way through modern-day hit makers Brooks & Dunn ("Boot Scootin' Boogie"), Shania Twain ("Any Man of Mine," "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!") Keith Urban ("Somewhere in My Car"), and Carrie Underwood ("Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Before He Cheats").  Information: www.timelife.com.

Artist: Jimmy Cliff 
Title: The Harder They Come (Shout! Factory)
You might like if you enjoy: Reggae music, Jimmy Cliff, director Perry Henzel
Tell me more: Reggae has seldom been featured in motion pictures beyond cliche and caricature. That changed with the release of director Perry Henzel's groundbreaking 1972 film The Harder They Come starring legendary artist Jimmy Cliff. In the film — newly remastered and reissued courtesy of a glorious collector's edition — Cliff stars as Ivan Martin, an aspiring singer hoping to make his mark in the music world. Looking back in time at this amazing film is to see a flick that works as a dramatic crime tale as well as an early celebration and showcase for Jamaican reggae that was in its infancy on the world stage. Bonus features and extras abound on this must-have Blu-ray title, including a gorgeous restoration of Perry Henzel's subsequent film No Place Like Home (which was also shot in 1970s Jamaica, but was believed long lost). Anyone who is a fan of Jimmy Cliff, reggae music or '70s film will want to pick up this superb title that picks up the energy and ambiance of Jamaica in the era. Information: shoutfactory.com.

Robert Kinsler

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