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Phil Collins - Live At Montreux 2004
DVD Review

(Eagle Rock Entertainment)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: May 4, 2012
Phil Collins

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Even if Phil Collins is retired from music making these days, the solo artist and long time Genesis leader still has an expansive vault of archive releases. His latest DVD Live At Montreux 2004 (taken from Switzerland's jazz festival of the same name) is sure to satiate faithful who miss hearing from the singer/songwriter/drummer/piano player, and with a set list chock full of 24 tunes, it's also amongst his most comprehensive.

All the obligatory hits are included (and granted some are stronger than others), but Collins and his expansive troupe shine through the brass-stacked "Something Happened On the Way To Heaven" and "Hang In Long Enough," while demonstrating plenty of percussion thunder on "Don't Lose My Number" and "In the Air Tonight" (complete with Collins personally conquering the skins). The veteran also recalls his love for Motown with a true to form take on "You Can't Hurry Love," turns tropical during "Wear My Hat" and rearranges "Take Me Home" with a more sophisticated arrangement than the poorly aged '80s production.

Another true treat for fans is a bonus disc from the same festival circa 1996, though in that instance, Collins is accompanied by a big band and conductor Quincy Jones. It's during this 13-track performance that his talent as a drummer and overall visionary shine through much brighter than his more commercially-minded past, as evidenced in wordless, jazzy treatments of his own "Two Hearts" and Genesis' "The Los Endos Suite," plus standards like "They'll Be Some Changes Made" (sung superbly by guest vocalist Tony Bennett). Consider the Live At Montreux 2004 DVD collection two fine shows for the price of one and a reminder of why Collins wasn't just one of the most successful singer/songwriters of the past century, but also one of the most dexterous drummers.

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