Bernard Allison – Energized: Live In Europe

Bernard Allison – Energized: Live In Europe / 2006 MVD / 130 Minutes / / / Reviewed 19 April 2006

In much the same vein as Santana, the guitar work of Bernard Allison is distinct through all of the tracks on the disc. However, Allison distinguishes eirself from Santana at practically every other juncture. This is shown by a more seventies and funk sound to tracks like “Another Ride To The City”. The blues influence present during tracks like “It’s A Man Down There” brings listeners back from the current period all the way to the twenties and thirties. This is especially significant in this period piece, but this general sound is something that comes through often during this DVD. This is not merely a great guitarist and a few session players, but rather a great guitar players and the rest of an equally great backing band. Mike’s keyboards during each song on “Energized” are equally present to Bernard’s guitar work, and Allison gives Vlahakis more than enough time to shine. Also unlike Santana, there is little chance that Allison’s music on “Energized” will be the darling of the pop radio scene.

The music on this DVD is much more in the realm of either smoky bars or when one slaps a pair of headphones on and zones out for the extent of about two hours. Out of the fourteen tracks on this DVD, there is nary a weak song to be found amongst them; everything is done with the same soulful sound that Allison makes known from the opening of the disc. Although a great deal of the music on “Energized” is the type of interplay that the guitar and keyboards have, the drums punctuate whatever silence may still be left. The full sound of each of the tracks on this DVD is present not because of the virtuosity of any one member but rather the talent exhibited by the band as a whole. The video on the DVD is sharp, as one can expect but there is little need for the video component of this concert; the talent of the band comes through as clear as day if one is not watching the video portion at all.

Bernard Allison is storied in the genre, and hopefully this DVD will be what ey needs to get an entirely new set of individuals in the audience. The only thing that presents itself as a weakness on “Energized” is the poor micing of the audience; if one listens in, they can hear a huge audience. However, this is if they put their ear to the mic and focus in; I have no doubt that the crowd was absolutely perfect but the video’s audio is just not strong in that regard. Aside from this minor snafu concerning the audio on the disc, there is nothing that should hold back an individual from completely enjoying this DVD and picking up the rest of Allison’s collection in the next few years to come. The talent exhibited on this DVD is even enough for individuals that are not fans of the style to appreciate what come forth.

Top Tracks: Too Many Women, Into My Life

Rating: 6.5/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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