Warner Home Video presents
Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall (1997)
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Clint Eastwood and I love jazz."- Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood
Other Stars: Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Flip Phillips, Charles McPherson, James Rivers, Slide Hampton, Hank Jones, Thelonious Monk Jr, Claude Williams, Kyle Eastwood Quartet, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band
Director: Bruce Ricker
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:46m:10s
Release Date: 2002-04-02
DVD ReviewClint Eastwood is most prominent as a movie tough guy and action hero. But out of the many films he's made, there's a special place for jazz music, beginning as early as Play Misty for Me. This concert at Carnegie Hall features many contemporary and classic jazz greats in an energetic tribute to Eastwood and his work promoting jazz.
Of course, Misty is given a special place, appearing on the program twice; the first time it's played straight on piano but the second time it's done by the full Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, filtered through a bebop lens. A wide variety of styles are featured, including a Claude Williams country swing violin rendition of San Antonio Rose that would do Bob Wills proud. At the forefront most of the time, appropriately for a man who made a picture, Bird, about Charlie Parker, are saxes. James Rivers renders the theme from Tightrope with a scorching soprano sax, while Joshua Redman and James Rivers on tenor do an energetic deconstruction of Now's the Time. Interspersed amongst the Eastwood-connected songs is also the Paul Desmond classic Take Five, in a sax-heavy arrangement. Eastwood's son Kyle plays with his own quartet, and he's quite proficient on bass. Clint himself even takes the stage briefly and plays some blues on the piano.
There are any number of highlights in this concert. Only two moments really miss their marks: a lackluster rendition of Satin Doll rescued only by Kenny Mahogany's inspired scat singing, and a bizarre rendition of 'Round Midnight sung by Gary LeMel, sounding for all the world like Bill Murray's lounge singer character from Saturday Night Live.
The presentation is interesting and appropriate for the context. The songs often cut from the stage performances to snippets from the films to which they relate. Most of the time, the dialogue of the films is turned off, though occasionally a line or two will come through. It doesn't happen often enough to be an irritant, though purists may resist. However, it serves as an excellent reminder of the place that jazz has in these pictures, and seems quite fitting indeed given the purpose of the concert to celebrate Eastwood. Intercut between songs there's a sentence or two from Eastwood about the soloists or why he chose a particular piece for the film.
The camera work is varied and helps keep viewer interest in the visuals. But the music is the thing, and it's just about all first rate. Anyone with even a slight interest in jazz will find much to like here. Now, where's my sax....
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: For a live concert film, this looks extraordinarily good. Blacks are rich and deep, color is excellent, and there is plenty of detail. Textures come through quite nicely. The film clips, presented in pan & scan, tend to be a bit fuzzy, indicating a video source was probably used. That's the main detraction on the image.
Image Transfer Grade: A-
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround track sounds terrific. There is plenty of loud thumping bass, and the saxes wail beautifully. The varying sounds of the different saxmen comes through with great detail. I detected no distortion at all, nor any hiss. The sound is rich, with the soloists and vocalists generally in the center channel, bass in the mains and piano in the surrounds, giving an enveloping soundstage.
Audio Transfer Grade: A
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Extras Review: The primary extra is a featurette, Eastwood After Dark (10m:24s) that includes an interview with Eastwood and some of the musicians. This tends to be mostly a fluff piece and duplicates some of the material in the main program. The picture quality is lower since it was apparently shot on video under low light conditions. There's also some shimmering, and on the whole it doesn't look half as good as the main program. In addition, there is a list of crew and a bio of director Bruce Ricker, as well as a short set of production notes about Eastwood's use of jazz in his films. The concert is well-chaptered; even each segment of a suite gets its own chapter.
Extras Grade: C-
Final CommentsA concert honoring Clint Eastwood produces some fine jazz, particularly emphasizing steamy sax work. The sound is excellent as is the video. There are some minor extras, but the main event is the concert, which will definitely send the toes to tapping.
Mark Zimmer 2002-04-08