Saturday, July 7, 2012

Simply Red "Live at Monteux 2003" DVD

(Eagle Rock) Attendees of the Montreux, New Orleans or (to  a lesser degree) Newport jazz fests probably realize at some point during sets by Doug E. Fresh or the Skatalites or the Allman Brothers that "jazz" is a relative term. Which makes this performance by Mick Hucknell's Brit-eyed soul band so appealing. This is jazzy in a way that makes "smooth" a non dirty word. This act, known mainly in the US for a couple of mid-80s hits (including a remake of Harold Melvin/Teddy Pendergrass' "If You Don't Know Me By Now") had a lengthy career globally, and the sax-driven, cool vibe of the arrangements, and Hucknell's solid song craftsmanship mean that even if you haven't paid attention to them since the first Bush administration you will enjoy this set. That Hucknell is dressed for golf, is an extremely relaxed performer, and that the slick-assed Montreux cool colors/warm colors light show is in full effect makes this a rousingly mellow viewing experience, if such  a thing is possible. Also included is a sampling of the band's 2010 appearance, which was the farewell tour before Hucknell went solo, which seems semantic since he was the only original member. But considering his questionable fashion decisions of 2010 (near-flesh colored goatee, 19th century hanging watch chain, Led Zep cover band haircut), maybe he needed a fresh start.

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