Carole King - Live at Montreux 1973 Release Available Now
New York, NY - Eagle Vision announced today details of this never-before-seen concert film which celebrates Carole's landmark first show outside of the United States.
Performed live at the Montreux Pavillon in 1973 as part of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival, the set features hits from the Tapestry, Fantasy and Writer albums.
Live at Montreux 1973 finds Carole at a fascinating crossroads. It took place two years after she altered the course of pop history with Tapestry, and one month after she issued the album, Fantasy, which demonstrated her determination to move her music boldly forward.
The early segment of the concert exudes the intimacy that made Tapestry a personal toughstone to millions. "Usually I don't get to see my audiences," Carole beams, while addressing a crowd cozy enough to sit cross-legged on the floor before her. "Tonight, I'm seeing you". Six weeks before Montreux, Carole headlined a free concert in New York's Central Park that drew a whopping 100.000 fans. The early part of the Swiss concert gave her the chance to regain a closer relationship with her fans, while performing classics like "Home Again", "Beautiful", and "I Feel the Earth Move" alone at the piano. That kind of one-person set-up was a hallmark of the musical revolution Carole helped herald in the early '70s-namely, the singer-songwriter movement.
The camera work echoes the sincerity of the music, with close-ups and tight-shots capturing Carole's fine, and playful, piano work as well as her easy relationship as a singer with the microphone. Everything about the presentation and performance signals authenticity, from her scant make-up and peasant blouse to the imperfections in her voice.
Five numbers into the show, Carole brings on stage an eleven-person band, including six horn and woodwind players. Together, they perform nearly every track from Fantasy, whose material was, at the time, untested. To up the stakes, almost everything about the new music broke with Carole's past. This was her first attempt at a song cycle, a format which purposely blurs the songs into an unbroken piece, starting and ending with two distinct versions of the title track. Following the Fantasy theme, the words to the songs found Carole inhabiting characters, rather than necessarily speaking for herself. In terms of the music, not only was she presenting a wildly new sound, she was offering one that helped inaugurate a major trend in the '70s for which Carole has never been given proper credit. Songs like "Believe in Humanity" and "You've Been Around Too Long", helped kick-start the smooth jazz movement.
Carole's band at Montreux featured top players connected to that scene, including percussionist Ms. Bobbye Hall, horn man George Bohanon, and Tom Scott on sax and flute. As a pianist, Carole more than rose to the millieu's high standards. Even the solo ballads, displayed a new jazziness in her piano work, suited to a festival which, at the time, still favored music from that world over the pan-genre approach it promotes today.
For a capper to the show, Carole performed two more songs alone - "You've Got A Friend" and "Natural Woman". The title of the latter nails Carole's character, whether in the unadorned numbers she performs from the past, or the ones with the band which show her looking to the future.
*The above text is adapted from Jim Farber's liner notes which are available in full here.
Carole King - Live at Montreux 1973 available at our Store now!