Learn To Play the Songs From “Are You Experienced?”
(Hal Leonard Corporation)
Thirty years after the death of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, his psychedelic blend of rock and R&B still casts a long shadow over guitarists around the world. This DVD is a must-own geekfest for any guitarist or student of Hendrix' work. Each song from Hendrix' debut Are You Experienced?, plus a handful of other gems, is dissected and performed at full and half-speed, with simultaneous close-up camera angles on the fret board and picking hand. The demonstrations, performed by Hendrix expert Andy Aledort, are flawlessly executed in performance and guitar tone. Velvert Turner, who was an acquaintance of Hendrix', provides further explanation of the chord structures and inversions. If there is any weakness in the package, then it is the need for some kind of guitar tablature.
Producer: Janie Hendrix. Director: Mark Freed. Music director: John Cerullo. Audio: Matthew Isreal. Recorded at: Avatar Studios, New York City. Post-Production: Star Licks Video Productions, Henderson, Nev.
— Rick Clark
CHEAP TRICK: Silver
(Cheap Trick Unlimited)
This 2-DVD set captures Cheap Trick's 130-minute, 25th anniversary “homecoming” concert, combined with rare historical footage, interviews and insights on the musical craft from each bandmember. The main drawback of the project is the inconsistency of the video quality during the concert, with mismatched exposure and color balance on some shots, as if someone couldn't decide to light this for a live performance or a video shoot. Also, the blank area behind the band looks unfinished — don't these guys have a banner or logo to fly into the background? (Hint: Next time, if the background's ugly, move in tighter on the band.) However, it's still a nice DVD package, with excellent audio, and clean, logical menu navigation. The concert surround mix is great — very live-sounding, as if you were there — and Bun E.'s drum sound really rocks. Cheap Trick fans will love this one. I just wish someone would have sprung for a few more footcandles along the way.
Produced by Cheap Trick, Dave Frey and Harry Witz. Recorded at Davis Park (Rockland, Ill.) by Metro Mobile Recording. Location audio: Scott Larson, Bruce “Slim” Judd, Timothy Powell, Skinner Ways and Kathy Yore. Stereo PCM and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix by Harry Witz at 11:30 Inc. Live sound by dB Sound. DVD authoring: Sean Sutton at Chicago Recording Company.
— George Petersen