Sting really got carried away with the idea that his supporting crew for Dream of the Blue Turtles was a real jazz band, and technically, he was kind of right. He did pluck them straight out of Wynton Marsalis' backing band (thereby angering Wynton and emboldening his anti-rock stance, while flaring up a sibling rivalry between the trumpeter and his saxophonist brother Branford -- a veritable hat trick, that), and since he was initially a jazz bassist, it seemed like a good fit. At the very least, it seemed like a monumental occasion because he documented the entire development of the band and making of Dream with a documentary called Bring on the Night, releasing a double live album as its soundtrack just a year after the debut hit the stores. This could be called hubris (and it will be called that here), especially because the appearance of the live album feels like a way of showcasing Sting's jazz band and jazz chops. Most of the songs run around five minutes long and there are no less than three medleys, two of which marry an old Police number with a tune from Dream. Arriving as a second solo album, it can't help but feel a little unnecessary, even if the loose, rather infectious performances show what Sting was trying to achieve with his debut. Even so, this is a record for the cult, and while it will satisfy them, to others it will seem like, well, hubris.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2