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Not exactly a lasting tribute to the Father of British blues,
This review is from: Alexis Korner And Friends: Live From London [DVD]  (DVD)
This is a disappointment. From the 60s through to the early 80s, Alexis Korner was one of the most influential and interesting people on the British music scene. Through his broadcasting, he introduced several generations in the UK to the joys of American black music. His knowledge of the music was encyclopaedic and his enthusiasm infectious. His voice was the best on radio, described by fellow DJ Bob Harris as if "motor oil has been poured over his voice box," although the foreign cigarettes that he smoked probably made a contribution - as they did to his eventual death of lung cancer. He was never a great musician, but through his various line-ups flowed some of the most important names of British Rock, not least the eventual members of Free and the Rolling Stones. A generous man who encouraged talent and never became jealous of their success.
Taking all that into consideration, this DVD is a bitter disappointment. The concert doesn't include many of his famous friends, apart from the Stones' rhythm section. Where are the great names that he encouraged, Eric Burden, Eric Clapton, or Paul Rogers, for instance, who would have made this recording so memorable? As a result, we mostly get just Korner, who, as I have already said, was a limited musician. The documentary about Korner, the real reason for me buying this DVD, consists mostly of Bob Harris reminiscing about Korner and putting him into historical perspective, which, to his credit, he does extremely well. However, just to put the camera on Bob Harris and let him do all the talking is a lazy way of making a documentary. Where are the interviews with his family, with colleagues, with the musicians that he helped make famous? Korner was rarely on tv - radio was his medium - but there must be clips scattered around which a bit of detective work would have unearthed. Instead, there is only the one, very brief, clip. More was needed. Also included on this DVD is a brief documentary on the blues singer, Furry Lewis. Don't ask me what it is doing here. I have not a clue.
All in all, a wasted opportunity. The concert was recorded in the early 80s, just before his death. The cover has a picture of Korner in the 70s. They even got that detail wrong. Says it all, really.