Tue, Jun 26, 07

High musicianship doesn’t always get the respect it deserves in the general public’s viewfinder.

The hype and attitude that surround the live setting of some groups, such as audience members’ desire to be seen at their favorite beer-spilling “event” where there just happens to be a band in the area, often pushes true musical art aside. Too often, the “show” becomes the audience, and not what lies in the path of the spotlights.

However, jazz fusion pioneers Weather Report and should-be-Rock-Hall-of-Famers Deep Purple and Paul Rodgers gracefully have avoided the scene that’s overcrowded by often-fickle bandwagons and a pack mentality. And for that simple, side-stepping action, the efforts of all three acts have made their mark — a bona fide impact upon their respective musical genres — and will endure long after the musicians themselves breathe that final breath.

Sparks of these artists’ creative, super-charged lightning bolts can be witnessed visually and through sound on three new concert DVDs from Eagle Rock Entertainment — “Weather Report: Live at Montreux 1976,” “Deep Purple: Live at Montreux 2006” and “Paul Rodgers: Live in Glasgow.” All three releases are stellar snapshots of inspired, authentically great performers and their craft.

Taped 30 years after the Weather Report DVD, “Deep Purple: Live at Montreux 2006” shows the British band still living life after the 1993 departure of founding guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.

Read the complete review.