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Santana: Live at Montreux 2011 Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit), Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 204 Mins.
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • List Price: $19.98

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BestBuy.com:
Live At Montreux 2011 (2 Disc)

Purchase Santana: Live at Montreux 2011 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana is the king of Latin rock. His influence can be heard everywhere from Los Lobos to Los Lonely Boys or even in a Rolling Stone track like “Can You Hear Me Knocking”’s second half. At Montreux in 2011, wife Cindy Blackman Santana among others backing him up, the old boy proved he more than still has what it takes to get an audience fired up.

The 23-song set list included Santana’s greatest hits, spanning his illustrious hall of fame (inducted 1998) career, including the favorites “Black Magic Woman,” “Jingo” and, of course, “Oye Como Va.” All songs magnificently and enthusiastically transformed during their live performances with palpable electricity as if they weren’t played a thousand times before.

Those might be the most recognizable songs, but surely the standouts had to be the spicy “Maria Maria,” the humorous “Foo Foo” an effortless medley of “Evil Ways” and Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and, finally, an odd rap version of the AC/DC classic “Back in Black” with the signature Santana Latin percussive rhythms adding that extra twist. For an even bigger delight, surprise guests Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi drop by for “Make Somebody Happy/Right On Be Free”. Great stuff from start to finish.

Track list:

  1. Spark Of The Divine
  2. SOCC
  3. Back In Black
  4. Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
  5. Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
  6. Oye Como Va
  7. Maria Maria
  8. Foo Foo
  9. Corazon Espinado / Guajira
  10. Benny & Cindy Solo
  11. Jingo
  12. Carlos Speaks / Novus
  13. Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) / I Want You
  14. Batuka / No One To Depend On
  15. Duende / Open Invitation
  16. Make Somebody Happy / Right On Be Free
  17. Evil Ways / A Love Supreme
  18. Sunshine Of Your Love
  19. Smooth / Dame Tu Amor
  20. Soul Sacrifice / Dennis Drum Solo
  21. Samba Pa Ti
  22. Into The Night
  23. Love, Peace And Happiness / Freedom

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Santana: Live at Montreux 2011 was captured natively in high definition and arrives on Blu-ray in a 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Eagle Rock. The image looks about average for a concert video, with only slight motion artifacts, a decent amount of detail, a life-like appearance and a small amount of video noise.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Whether you go for the PCM Stereo (48kHz/16-bit) or lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) you’re going to get a pretty good sounding mix with good dynamics and clear vocals with musical sounding lows. The stereo mix has a stronger sense of stereo directionality and instrumental separation, but both are rather good in that regard and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 has better spacial presence. Neither one has the greatest sounding high frequencies, as they both sound just a tad tizzy, but not fatiguing.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

Interviews with Carlos, his wife, and some brief behind the scenes footage – all in HD – round out this release from Eagle Rock.

The supplements:

  • Carlos Santana Interview (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:20:16)
  • Cindy Blackman Santana Interview (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:10:19)
  • Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:05:05)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Carlos Santana continues to prove why he is a musical legend, even after he first screamed onto the musical landscape in the 1960s. A master of his craft, his skills on the guitar are unquestionable, and he has surrounded himself continuously with extremely talented backing musicians that help him put forth his musical vision in an effortless way, or at least it sounds that way. Santana: Live at Montreux 2011 is a must for the aging boomer generation and for anyone else serious about music.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006T8KT6M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Live At Montreux 2011 (2 Disc)

Purchase Santana: Live at Montreux 2011 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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