Suzanne Vega

Live at Montreux 2004

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This is a well-produced video, from the 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival, that captures Suzanne Vega doing a surprisingly large cross-section of her repertory. Most heartening is the presence of pieces off of her debut album, including "Knight Moves," "Small Blue Thing" (which both show up as bonus tracks from a 2000 appearance by Vega, appended to the 2004 concert), and "The Queen and the Soldier," in addition to expected works such as "Marlene on the Wall." And she also performs Pete Townshend's "Behind Blue Eyes," a song that she describes as a favorite of hers for many years. What is unfortunate, at least for those who recall Vega's early shows at places like New York's late, still-lamented Folk City in the mid-'80s, is how much darker her voice is some 20 years on. She does more with it, and is an infinitely more sophisticated performer, to be sure, but her range is narrower and that's a sad thing for those who recall her work back when. On a technical level, the production is superb, with varying camera angles and lots of great shots, and the audio is nice and close as well. The image -- which is extremely crisp -- has an aspect ratio of 1.85-to-1 for the main concert (with 16x9 enhancement) and full-screen (1.33-to-1) for the bonus tracks, and each song gets a chapter marker.

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