Not long ago, I checked out “B.B. King: Live at Montreux,”
another installment in the Eagle Vision series. Filmed in
1993, this 99-minute concert began with his eight-piece,
backup band playing for about 10 minutes, before
King (1925 – ) took the stage. His set of 16 tunes
included such hits as “When I Sing the Blues,”
“Since I Met You, Baby,” “Let the Good Times Roll,”
and “The Thrill Is Gone.”
I’d call B.B. King an “Entertainer/Artist,” almost
in the style of Louis Armstrong (1901-1971). He is
a superb elder statesman of Blues guitar who also
sings much of the time, with an emphasis on
entertaining his audience in an effortless,
“art that conceals art” style of singing.
King’s guitar sound favors the setting of a Jazz
player, clear and without distortion, with his
famous left-hand, index finger vibrato to the fore.
He’s made this signature sound famous, using his
hollow-body guitar, “Lucille,” while clearly
influencing legions of other guitarists who have
followed in his footsteps.
When listening, I was reminded that this music
has a “good time” feel, another tradition forged
by B.B. King. As expected from the concerts in
this series, the sound and camera work were
also quite good.