Wednesday, April 8, 2009

DVD of the Day - "Paul Simon: Live from Philadelphia"

DVD of the Day
Paul Simon: "Live from Philadelphia" (Eagle Vision/ST2) 1980/2009

This concert was filmed at Upper Darby's Tower Theater, in Philadelphia, back in 1980 and it was originally released on VHS in '81. It was restored for DVD in 2008 by Eagle Vision and i'ts now available on this format through ST2.

"Live from Philadelphia" captures Simon in fine form with an all-star backing band: late keyboardist Richard Tee (with his unmistakable Fender Rhodes sound), brothers Pete Levin (synths) and Tony Levin (King Crimson's bassist), Steve Gadd (the most-in-demand drummer at that time), CTI/Kudu house guitarist Eric Gale (God knows how I miss u Eric!) and a horn section featuring saxophonist/flutist George Young (the future star soloist of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet with whom I had the honor to work in NY on Yana Purim's "Harvest Time" album) plus trumpet player Ron Tooley, and reedmen J.D. Parran & Howard Johnson on saxophones.

Despite the fact that the running time is very short (52 minutes, counting the 3 encores), the musical quality is high. The set list ranges across his career up to that point and includes both Simon & Garfunkel and solo hits. Highlights: "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" (the original 1972 studio recording had Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira playing cuica!), "Still Crazy After All These Years," "One-Trick Pony," "Jonah" (that sounds like a Michael Franks song) and "Late in the Evening". The three encores are "American Tune," "The Boxer" and the solo number "The Sound of Silence."

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