Monday, November 30, 2009

Stax Volt Revue Live In Norway April 7th, 1967

Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway April 7th, 1967
Antonio G. Pereira © 2009 Antonio G. Pereira

What do you say about something that is such pure magic, that when you see it, you are left just totally enraptured by all of it?

Such is the Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway April 7th, 1967. This concert was filmed during Stax' legendary and groundbreaking tour of Europe in the Spring of 1967. The best of what everything the Real America represented at that time, was projected on that stage. During a period when Dr. Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rev. Ralph Abernathy and countless Civil Rights Workers, and just plain Americans who all believed in an America whose culture was all inclusive and embracing, had already been instrumental in the passing of the Voting and Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965; that broke the back of the old racist policies of the old south, and began to build a New South. Stax Records, and in particular THIS TOUR, was what emerged from that. And the world was watching. Many more battles for Civil Rights were still being fought during the time of this Stax concert tour of Europe in 1967 (this time in the Northern U.S. cities, and again, The World Was Watching). So this concert in a foriegn land represented more than just mere musicians on a stage doing a nameless one nighter. This was History taking place, right before your eyes. It is obvious from the sheer joy expressed by the audience, and the love for what they are hearing and seeing; from the learning of the rhythms and call and responses, to the infectious music of Booker T. and The M.G.s, the precise rhythm steps of The MarKeys, the vocalists singing their hearts out, who one right after the other, Arthur Conley (a protege of Otis Redding), Eddie Floyd, Sam and Dave, and finally Otis Redding himself, leave the Norweigian audience with a memory that they will never forget for the rest of their lives. And now with the release of this carefully and lovingly put together film document, everyone who wants to, can experience the same magic that the audience did at that concert in Norway, long ago in 1967. Reelin' In The Years Productions ( ), who are also responsible for a continuing string of releases of wonderful Jazz Concerts from the same era, Wes Montgomery {reviewed in an earlier posting on this blog}, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John Coltrane}, have done a fabulous and masterful job on this one. In the Extra Features on the DVD are reminicences of the tour by Jim Stewart (Co-founder of Stax Records), Sam Moore (Sam and Dave), Steve Cropper (Booker T. and The M.G.s) and Wayne Jackson ( The MarKeys). The 24 page Booklet included with the DVD, has a wonderful collection of photographs and additional reminicences by the performers, and comments by the Producers of the DVD. The writer Rob Bowman, whose essay, 'The Stax/Volt Revue: Oslo 1967', though adequate at retelling the historical facts of Stax Records, on a business level, tends toward the current trend of self important long winded Journalists who analize and pick apart something without acknowledging the fact that if it wasn't shown to them in the first place, they wouldn't have a clue. (For a prime example of some first class journalism on Stax Records, see British Journalist Valerie Wilmer's profile of drummer Al Jackson, in the October 1977 issue of Black Music, page 32; 'He didn't do anything, you see. He just played.') But the overall significance and presentation of the Norway Concert, is what matters. And people the world over, will be enjoying this for many years to come.

Thank You Reelin' In The Years Productions!

Antonio Pereira

1 comment:

poisgone said...

great story. thanks antonio