DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Spirits of Music – Bobby McFerrin & Nigel Kennedy (2002/2014)

Anything involving Bobby McFerrin has got to be great. And both halves of this long musical evening have now been combined.

Published on July 14, 2014

Spirits of Music – Bobby McFerrin & Nigel Kennedy (2002/2014)

Spirits of Music – Bobby McFerrin & Nigel Kennedy (2002/2014)  

Performers: Soloists/ Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig/ Bobby McFerrin, conductor/ Nigel Kennedy, violin (& many others) 
Studio: EuroArts 20521448 [6/24/14]  (Distr. by Naxos] (2 DVDs)
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 color, all regions  
Audio:  English DTS or Dolby 5.1, PCM 2.0
Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian
Extras: Behind-the-scenes interviews
Length: DVD 1: 74 min.; DVD 2: 83 min.
Rating: *****

I thought this seemed a bit familiar when I saw it again. Quite some years ago we reviewed both Parts 1 and 2 of this remarkable concert given in the open public square of Leipzig in 2002. Now they have been combined into a cheaper two-DVD package and have a new distributor.  Here is our review of Part 1 and then of Part 2.  See them for the details.

Nothing much has changed, though the image quality seems to be slightly better on this new version. It involves 150 musicians from all over the world and combines classical, jazz and world music in often amazing ways. For me, the highlight remains the terrific long improvisation McFerrin and Kennedy do on Miles Davis’ “All Blues,” but the whole program is great. Don’t know why they didn’t release a Blu-ray version too, but the image and sonic quality is quite high anyway.

—John Sunier




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