'Solomon Burke - Live at Montreux 2006'
Solomon Burke was one of the pioneers of Soul music in the late fifties and early sixties, blending R&B, Gospel and Blues to create a new and distinctive sound that would be the dominant force in black music through to the mid-seventies.
Up until his death in 2010, Burke had played at Montreux several times in the 2000s and was always popular with the festival crowd. This performance from 2006 showcases his still magnificent voice, his humor and his spirituality on a selection of classic Soul, Gospel and Blues songs.
And so without any introduction, the DVD cuts straight into 'Baby What You Want Me To Do.' Bathed in a rich blood red spotlight, he sits in his white and gold Throne like a King. Wearing a sparkly rich blue suit, white shirt and red tie, he sings his heart out. Stopping only to talk to the instruments being played around him, and the band - Sam Mayfield (lead guitar); Moyes Lucas (drums); Milard Jackson (keyboards); Jack Guitar (rhythm guitar); Stony Dixon (bass); Daniel Moretto (trumpet); Joshua Lempkins (trombone); Carl Vickers (trumpet, saxophone); Pierre Paolo Valero (alto saxophone); Kiana Reese (backing vocals); and Candy Burke (backing vocals) - playing them, and also the audience, he even slips in a "Happy Birthday" chorus! The groove of 'Cry To Me' is next, before he introduces the Tom Waits ballad 'Diamond In Your Mind.'
The fun of 'Got To Get You Off My Mind / Having A Party' is next, where Burke even has time to have his worker bees hand out roses to the ladies who come up to the stage! Add to that he encourages a couple up from the front row to dance right there in front of him. The same funk vibe flows onwards with 'We Live So Close Together,' 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,' 'Down In The Valley,' and the classics 'Georgia On My Mind' and a weirdly cut-short '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Day.'
Still seated like a King on his own Throne centerstage, you'd never know vocally as his enormous vocal reach isn't hindered once. Next up is the ballad 'Just Out Of Reach' (which is blends with 'He'll Have To Go,' 'I Almost lost My Mind' and 'It's Just A Matter of Time'), 'Detroit City,' and then 'Don't Give Up One Me.' Which all easily go to show just that fact.
By now he has removed his jacket and tie and brings us another classic cover in the shape of a 'Johnny B. Goode' medley, 'What A Wonderful World,' and (after a quick stage break) is backed by the female vocal tones of Candy Burke on 'I Will Survive.' As always, a party song that has everyone up clapping along. The gentle sway of 'None Of Us Are Free' is next, Burke's voice now getting noticeably hoarse in certain places.
Next is the slow blues of 'The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow / This Little Light Of Mine,' not long in length they are backed by the ballad 'That's How I Got To Memphis.' This incredible, truly incredible album then comes to a close with 'May The Good Lord Bless You and Keep You,' and saying goodnight both a rousing 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love' and a jubilent 'When The Saints Go Marching In.'