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  • Blues at Sunrise: Live at Montreux
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Blues at Sunrise: Live at Montreux Live

3 customer reviews

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Albert King is truly a "King of the Blues," although he doesn't hold that title (B.B. does). Along with B.B. and Freddie King, Albert King is one of the major influences on blues and rock guitar players. Without him, modern guitar music would not sound as it does -- his style has influenced both black and white blues players from Otis Rush and Robert Cray to Eric Clapton and ... Read more in Amazon's Albert King Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 July 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Stax
  • ASIN: B000026ETN
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,522 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By thestaxman on 21 Nov. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Critics and fans alike have always placed Albert King's live recordings atop or near the top of the heap of live Blues albums and rightfully so. King's seminal live outing was Live Wire/Blues Power, which was highlighted by the ten minute plus "Blues Power" - arguably the most spectacular and engaging live track ever recorded by a lead guitarist.
But to me, the rest of that album, as well as the companion albums released afterwards called Wednesday and Thursday Night in San Francisco (all three continue to be lauded till this day), aren't nearly as great as they could and should be, and not nearly as consistent and fresh as the song "Blues Power" itself.
Blues At Sunrise should not be overlooked. It is one of King's very best. He has a very solid backing band that does an excellent job of recreating the soulful grooves that came out of King's record label, Stax in Memphis.
You will always have room in your collection for another live version of "I'll Play the Blues For You", and this one doesn't disappoint. King's guitar doesn't really blow you away (at least compared to playing in front of San Francisco Rock fans), instead his playing, and his criminally underrated singing, is about as soulful as you will ever hear it. He and this band really groove to songs like "Little Brother (Make a Way)" and a great, great remake of Ray Charles's "I Believe To My Soul", a song he actually cut in the studio with Booker T. & the MGs that must have somehow inexplicably been forgotten about because it didn't show up until years later when the United Kingdom's Ace Records released some Albert King bonus tracks.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dave moran on 15 Dec. 2005
Format: Audio CD
I just listened to this album again for the first time in years and have just about snapped my guitar neck from trying to squeeze the notes from it like that man could. Albert King was able to get the most killer and distinctive tone out of his axe(ax?)and with the great sound on this set, with the guitar way up there in the mix, it will you square in the chest and have you wincing like you're sucking on a lemon. Or a lime. Yes, really that good! The singing carries as much power but is so beautifully controlled. He really can sing as well as he plays. Great songs on here, and a bit of variety too. You have some get-on-down funky stuff on here like 'Don't Burn Down The Bridge' which is even better if you imagine big Albert King dancing around to it, and the head-back note-bending things like 'I Believe To My Soul' and 'Roadhouse Blues'. Just magic, and you can hear Albert enjoying the sound of himself hitting an on-the-money note. Woooh! The band is super-tight and the whole sound is super-warm and when they finish up with 'Little Brother' you'll be in a groove you just don't wanna get out of.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Almost as good as the classic Live Wire/Blues Power, which is high praise indeed. So buy that first and then buy this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Albert King's Once Lost Concert! 29 Jun. 2005
By Perry Celestino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This concert was released after the return of Stax Records in the 1980s as a part of Fantasy Records. The initial release was the lost tape of Albert recording with John Mayall and his Jazz-Fusion band in California. This was put out as the "Lost Session". After another look in the newly recovered Stax vault (no pun intended!)tapes this concert was found. Two tracks had been previously released on vinyl as "Live at Montreux". This CD has most of the remaining part of this July 1, 1973 Montreux concert. The balance of this set can be found on the follow up release "Blues At Sunset" (1993).

This set is really different. Albert has a great band (with a subdued horn section). He also has Donald Kinsey (of the Kinsey Report) on guitar, who like Jimmy King, he calls his "grandson" (he liked to do that). Albert's playing is heavy, full and forceful. He obviously plays the entire set on his neck pickup and produced a fat sound unlike that on any other King recording. This is very similar to the sound he gets on the 2004 DVD release "Albert King: Live in Sweden". The title track "Blues at Sunrise" is a reworking of one of his very first King Records recordings. He has done this tune many times but this version is really different sounding. It also shows King at the beginning of the 1970s until the 1990s when he got the reputation of being difficult to work with. He typically berates the sound man in the middle of the tune.

I saw him in Australia in 1990 and he stopped the concert in the middle of "Kansas City", only his second tune, and rearranged the speakers on stage while the audience waited twenty minutes. He continued to play until he felt the Bass player wasn't holding up his end and PULLED OUT HIS LEAD IN MID-SONG! Oh Albert!

The tunes are on this recording are great, as they always are at Montreux. The production is well done and edited. Highlights of the performance are the Ray Charles (RIP) tune "I Believe To My Soul". His solos in this tune are awesome, what phrasing! "Roadhouse Blues" is a great extended tune that really gives the feel of an Albert King concert. This tune was released as a self-titled cassette tape in the 1990s, now very rare. "Little Brother, Make A Way" is the most unique cut on this CD. It features the only other and only ever live version of this track from "I'll Play the Blues For You" which was his current LP available when this concert was recorded. It has Albert singing soulfully without the second voice track of the LP and doing a great guitar solo as well.

I would highly recommend this CD. It is different sounding than any other Albert King recording. This shows Albert at the height of his creative devlopment and influence on the Blues genre. Buy this one along with Live Wire, Blues Power", "Blues At Sunset", "Blues From The Road", "Live 69" and "Talking Blues". These CDs are all different and show Albert's style and tone at various stages of his long career.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT! 28 Jun. 2002
By deepbluereview - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Montreux Jazz Festival has seen it all in it's 30+ year history. Imagine a festival that can boast the likes of Albert King, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison, Robert Cray, Miles Davis, Louisiana Red, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Etta James and many, many others. "Blues At Sunrise" is a recording of one of those fabulous Montreux performances recorded on July 1, 1973. On that Sunday, fans were treated to Albert King, Freddie King, Miles Davis, Teddy Wilson, Stephanie Grappelli, Cannonball and Nat Adderley. But it was Albert that brought down the house that evening with his scorching guitar solo's and soulful vocals. His playing was passionate, like a man truly possessed, and it is captured here for all to hear. Don't miss this bit of history, as it is truly one of Albert's top 5 performances of his life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
simply stunnig 17 Oct. 2005
By Francesco Ciuffi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
what you're holding in your hand is one of the very best live blues album ever. I own quite a few albert's album but this one has always found a special place in my heart. Both the setlist and the performances are wonderful and it has my favourite version of i'll play the blues for you. After he says "exscuse me" he unveils a terrific solo that gets you realize what blues power is all about, the interplays with the horns section is stunning and the voice, man, the voice...if you gotta get just one album by this master get this one, you wont be disappointed
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Blues at Sunrise: Live at Montreux 25 Feb. 2006
By Thomas Holley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very well done live recording. Both the material and the sound quality are top notch. The only thing I found missing was some additional material from the festival not on this CD. For that one must get the "Blues at Sunset" CD that contains the rest of the set as well as more excellent recordings from the Wattstax concert.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Soul power from the Blues King 14 Nov. 2003
By thestaxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Critics and fans alike have always placed Albert King's live recordings atop or near the top of the heap of live Blues albums and rightfully so. King's seminal live outing was Live Wire/Blues Power, which was highlighted by the ten minute plus "Blues Power" - arguably the most spectacular and engaging live track ever recorded by a lead guitarist.
But to me, the rest of that album, as well as the companion albums released afterwards called Wednesday and Thursday Night in San Francisco (all three continue to be lauded till this day), aren't nearly as great as they could and should be and not nearly as consistent and fresh as the song "Blues Power" itself.
Blues At Sunrise should not be overlooked. It is one of King's very best. He has a very solid backing band that does an excellent job of recreating the soulful grooves that came out of King's record label, Stax in Memphis.
You will always have room in your collection for another live version of "I'll Play the Blues For You", and this one doesn't disappoint. King's guitar doesn't really blow you away (at least compared to playing in front of San Francisco Rock fans), instead his playing, and his criminally underrated singing, is about as soulful as you will ever hear it. He and this band really groove to songs like "Little Brother (Make a Way)" and a great, great remake of Ray Charles's "I Believe To My Soul", a song he actually cut in the studio with Booker T. & the MGs that must have somehow inexplicably been forgotten about because it didn't show up until years later when the United Kingdom's Ace Records released some Albert King bonus tracks.
This album proves that Albert was THE king of the Blues, not just because of his Blues power (which remember, he invented), but because of his use of dynamics, subtlety, and the fact that you will be hard pressed to find another guitarist so powerful, but yet so tasteful. In 1973, the crowd at the Montreux Jazz Festival was right there for one of the most infectious and joyful Albert King performances ever captured.
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