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Ghost Canyon

'Isaac Hayes: Live at Montreux 2005'
(Isaac Hayes, et al / DVD / NR / 2007 / Eagle Eye Media)

Overview: Isaac Hayes is one of the most influential and respected figures in Black American music. In a career that dates back to the start of the sixties he has had top selling singles, released ground breaking albums, composed the Grammy and Oscar winning film score for "Shaft", supplied the voice of Chef in "South Park" and written innumerable hit songs for other artists. Isaac Hayes has made several appearances at Montreux but this one, his most recent appearance from 2005, undoubtedly captures him at his very best with trademark performances of all his best-known tracks.

DVD Verdict: Isaac Hayes started as an anonymous session keyboardist at Stax/Volt, then grew into a hit songwriter (with David Porter) for Sam & Dave, and finally came into his own as a top-selling soul/funk innovator. His calling card is his extended, orchestrated approach to both ballads and uptempo funk, crossed with a gritty Southern sensibility - he had a big influence on contemporaries like Norman Whitfield, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and the Ohio Players.

His low-key vocal style, without any pop softness or gospel inflections, made no effort to accomodate white sensibilities - his shaved head and beard pushed the envelope even further - but his records soared onto the pop charts anyway.

And now that very same soul superstar Isaac Hayes has finally released 'Live At Montreux,' a superb DVD capturing his 2005 appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. With a career spanning five decades, this live set by the soul and funk legend features renditions of his most famous songs, including "Donít Let Go," "Joy," and "Theme from Shaft." But, what makes this viewing even more pleasurable is that during the encore, Hayes is joined on stage by the Stax Records house band Booker T & The MGs for performances of "Soul Man" and "I Stand Accused."

Don't Let Go
Don't Take Your Love Away
Windows Of The World
Blues Is Alright
Walk On By
Drum Solo
Do Your Thing
Ellie's Love Theme
Never Can Say Goodbye
By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Theme From "Shaft"
Soul Man (bonus track)
You Don't Know Like I Know (bonus track)
I Stand Accused (bonus track)
Improvisation on "Do-Wop" (bonus track)