Live At Montreux 2010

Gary Moore

Relentless in his approach to the guitar, Gary Moore is far from the picture of health during one of his final performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that on that night, he came to rock; in fact, Moore came to rock more than he had in two decades, having spent years exploring other musical stylings. But at Montreux with three other musicians — keyboardist and guitarist Neil Carter, bassist Jon Noyce and drummer Darrin Mooney — Moore was ready to go back to the 80s and revisit some of the songs that helped define his career. How fortunate the concert was filmed and is now available as a CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc under the easy-to-remember title Live At Montreux 2010.

Casually strolling out (despite a certain bloatedness in his appearance) and armed with a Les Paul, Moore jumps back to 1987 with a couple from his Wild Frontier album, "Over The Hills And Far Away" and "Thunder Rising." The latter was co-written by Moore and Carter, who appeared on this and many other Moore albums from the 80s. Moore and Carter trade verses and passionately attack the breaks. Apparently, doing these songs was enough to get Carter to take a sabbatical from his prestigious music teaching gig. His value to Moore then and at this performance cannot be underestimated.

Carter does, in fact, lend his considerable skills as a back-up singer and keyboardist on Phil Lynott's "Military Man," from Moore's 1985 album Run For Cover album and originally sung by the late Thin Lizzy singer and bassist. At one point, Carter intuitively opens up a passage for Moore to rip through for series of ear-tingling trills and flourishes. Ably anchored by Noyce, who spent 11 years with Jethro Tull, and Mooney, Moore and Carter waver between the rockers of the 80s ("Empty Room," benefiting greatly from Noyce's bass solo, and "Out In The Fields," among others) to some of the more exotic detours the guitarist took during the 90s and 00s to three new songs.

Of the new ones, "Where Are You Now?" is a fairly basic ballad while "Days OF Heroes" and "Oh Wild One" are up tempo shakers so infested with Celtic flavorings they would make a Goidel blush. Moore breezes easily through "Still Got The Blues" right after a sizzling "Out In The Fields." But it's the assertive vocal and guitar work of yet another song the guitarist wrote and recorded with Phil Lynott, "Parisienne Walkways," that ends the show on a definite high note. To see a younger and fitter but just as captivating Gary Moore, all one has to do is check out the four-song bonus clip on the DVD and Blu-ray from the guitarist's performance at Montreux in 1997. On the more recent front, it would seem from watching Live At Montreux 2010 that Moore was about to come full circle in a career that had taken him to many places and situations. The shame in not being able to see what he was going to do next is a vast understatement.

~ Shawn Perry

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