I previously touched on the wide variety of of musical sub-genres present in American life, and the fervent (albeit to-scale) embrace of said niche markets means there’s room for all sorts of CD and DVD compilations that celebrate that merged diversity and commingled ethnicity.
A spin-off/continuation of the previous quartet of releases from 20th Century Entertainment, this new batch of two-hour concert clip titles includes a separate break-out look at blues (a bit of a cheat/overlap with the rhythm and blues title of earlier this fall, but so be it), as well as DVDs spotlighting dixieland jazz, soul and folk music. Each is engaging in its own way, but the folk and blues discs are probably the standout efforts of this batch, focusing as they do on deeper cuts that chart the hybrid influences (and future influence) of these styles. The soul title, meanwhile, hosted by Leon Isaac Kennedy, is a groovy testament to the sway of secular testifying, with James Brown’s “Payback,” Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” and Ben E. King’s “Spanish Harlem” all serving amongst the highlights.
Housed in regular plastic Amaray cases, each title in this collection is presented on a region-free disc in 1.33:1 full frame and Dolby stereo. Given the wide berth of sourcing, the video quality of the performances varies a bit, understandably, and while most are presented in color, black-and-white archival footage and photographic stills are also interspersed throughout. There exists no additional supplemental bonus material. For more information, click the individual hyperlinks above, or click here. B (Movies) C (Discs)