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Phil Collins

Live at Montreux 2004 BluRay

Review by Gary Hill

Let’s get one thing out of the way right from the start, taken by itself, this would not be a progressive rock review. But, with Phil Collins' tenure in Genesis, not to mention the fusion band Brand X, anything he does will land in progressive rock here. OK, now that the formality is done, let’s look at this release.

The main feature here is Phil Collins’ performance at the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival. It’s a run through of many of Collins’ hits. He starts off with a drum solo (well, technically not a solo because it’s not just Collins but also Chester Thompson and another drummer). That’s a cool touch. From there he moves into a real run down of his best known numbers and a few that are less famous. For my money the songs that are higher energy tend to work better. Some of the slower tunes tend to drag. Still, there are some great vocal arrangements and other elements that work to sell the show.

I personally like the bonus concert better. That’s a performance of Collins from the 1996 version of the festival. That time around he was doing big band arrangements of his music and some jazz classics. It’s really a cool twist and the band is amazing. They even cover a couple Genesis songs. Most of the tracks are instrumental, but Tony Bennett comes out to perform one tune and Collins steps away from the drum kit for some others. Another notable performer is Quincy Jones who directs the band. It’s an unusual, and awesome performance.

The video and sound quality on both of these concert films is quite good. This is highly recommended for fans of any period of Collins’ career. I’d also highly recommend the second concert for any jazz fans. It’s pretty awesome.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at

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