I’ve been watching the clips on Youtube for quite a while now and really wanted to get the dvd of this amazing show. I haven’t got the dvd yet but I was able to get the songs in mp3 format. Capturing the jaw-dropping live shows on screen or cd is what the hard core fans of Jesse Cook have been waiting for, ever since he first made a name for himself as a flamenco guitar maestro in the 1990s. Montreal, released in 2004, was Recorded at the Metropolis Theater during Le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal and finds Jesse & his band members at their finest. Cook’s live shows – he performs regularly throughout his native Canada, the U.S., Asia, and points beyond – are notorious for drawing throngs of fans who sin and dance along during the entire performance.
The album starts off with Beloved & then goes into one of the concert favorites Rattle & Burn. The audience is also a huge factor here, almost like another band member, clapping & shouting & hooting with enjoyment and appreciation for the wonderous talent of the musicians on stage. We next go on to a wonderful version of Cascada before the wistfulness of Breeze From Saintes Maries.
The playfulness of the next track, Jumpstart is not lost on the listener or the audience. Next we move on to Air one of my favourite Jesse Cook tracks but I don’t really like the sound in this one. I really feel that the tone of the guitar is lost in some sections. Be ready for an emotional overhaul because up next is Luna Lena. In the dvd, you can see the entire crowd standing and clapping along with the beat for this one. Very obviously a triumph of fan participation. Closer To Madness has got to be one of the standouts in the album, violinist Chris Church setting the mood by playing that atmospheric intro and then the song starts slowly, building up in intensity and totally surpassing the studio version.
Guitarist Luis Hernandez joins Jesse upfront for a guitar duet performance on Tempest. My favourite performance is the next track Querido Amigo – with just Jesse’s guitar playing at its best accompanied by Art Avolos on percussion. Dance Of Spring is next (it really does remind me of spring with its romantic sounding riffs), ending with some loud rhythimic clapping by the crowd and Jesse playing a frentic shredding riff that sounds like he’s going at warp speed at the end. The loud cheering is followed by the famous Mario Takes A Walk, which is a truly firey performance with the crowd going wild at the end. Baghdad continues in the same vein and finally we have Fall At Your Feet, which sees Jesse bringing Danny Wilde for vocals.
Its a truly awesome performance by Jesse & his band members and the crowd, it must be said, giving us an idea of what a true rhumba-flamenco concert should be like.
Here is the trailer of the dvd!