Blu-ray Review: Phil Collins: Live at Montreux 2004 (Eagle Rock Entertainment)

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Phil Collins Live at Montreux 2004 Blu-ray

Granted, Phil Collins’ solo work often veered into the lands of syrupy sentimentality (“Against All Odds”) or outright cheese (“Su-su-ssudio”). But, in the wake of his recent announcement of his retirement, it’s clear that Collins has had an overall highly distinguished career and is an amazingly talented musician, singer and composer. If there’s any doubt of his skills as a drummer, check out the opening of this recently released Blu-ray, taped at a 2004 performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival. “Drum Thing” consists of Collins and his longtime drum cohort Chester Thompson (who also played with him in Genesis) tearing into a drum-solo-laden instrumental. Heck of a way to start a major concert, but Collins pulls it off with panache. Predictably, the concert spotlights his many solo hits, from “In the Air Tonight” to One More Night”, as well as his many cover songs such as “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “True Colors.” Throughout the generous show, Collins’ phenomenal musicianship continues to impress, even if the song doesn’t. His superb backing band—featuring Thompson, guitarist Daryl Stuermer and long-bearded bassist Leland Sklar—never lets up, and this show is a credible testament to Collins’ musical legacy. The addition of a full show from Collins’ jazzy, swingin’ Big Band makes this an excellent buy for the artist’s many fans. Camera work is graceful and the picture is sharp, but the audio was a concern, falling a bit flat, especially in the high end and the all-important drums, when it should sparkle. Overall, however, this handsome, ample Blu-ray is a very thorough way to bid farewell to an enduring, beloved musician.

Buy Phil Collins: Live at Montreux 2004 at Amazon[Blu-ray]
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