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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Live at Montreux 1975-1993' [Blu-ray]
(Etta James / Blu ray / NR / 2012 / Eagle Eye Media)

Overview: Etta James made many appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival across her long and distinguished career from her first concert in 1975 through to her last in 2008. This Blu ray focuses on the concert from 1993 when she was at her absolute peak and complements it with selected tracks from many other Montreux appearances.

Blu ray Verdict: The wonderful, talented Etta James (who sadly passed away after a long illness in January 2012) appeared numerous times at the Montreux Jazz Festival across her long and distinguished career. This incredible concert footage brings together the best performance from the first 20 years of her association with the festival when she was at her absolute peak in 1993.

Although in the Bonus Features there is over 90 minutes of additional tracks from other Etta James performances at Montreux through the years!

Including songs such as the set opener 'Funky Good Time,' it continues on with 'I Just Wanna Make Love To You' (actually a 1954 blues song written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters), the lush 'I'd Rather Go Blind' (another Blues song written by Ellington Jordan for James in 1968), the delicious 'How Strong Is A Woman,' and one of my all-time favorites, 'A Lover Is Forever' ("I think, I understand the reason you won't stay with me. You think a ring upon your hand will solve your insecurity").

From start to finish the 1993 concert is a delight to behold and we also get the visual and audio treats of 'Beware,' 'Hard To Handle,' and the show comes to a close with a wonderful rendition of 'Come to Mama' (which was written by Willie Mitchell and Earl Randle and was first released by Ann Peebles in 1975) and 'Why I Sing The Blues.'

Of course we get a rousingly-seductive 'Respect Yourself' ("If you disrespect everybody that you run into. How in the world do you think everybody's 'sposed to respect you?") from the 1975 show, a passionate 'W.O.M.A.N.,' and a great 'I'd Rather Go Blind.' The 1977 show gives us just one track a medley that features 'At Last,' 'Trust In Me' and 'A Sunday Kind Of Love,' with one track also from 1978 in 'Take It To The Limit.'

The 1989 concert brings us 'Tell Mama, 'Something's Got A Hold On Me,' 'Breaking Up Sombody's Home,' and both 'I Got The Will' and 'Sugar On The Floor.' Whilst the last live performance on the Blu ray is from 1990 and simply features 'Your Good Thing Is About To End.' This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.