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I recently watched “Tower of Power: In Concert,”
a DVD of a 1998 concert given in Germany. It was
broadcast on the “Ohne Filter” television program,
a wonderful platform for great musicians and recording
artists. When interviewed as part of the bonus features,
“Ohne Filter” executive producer, Michael Au, indicated
that many of these performers don’t normally receive
exposure via television, either in Europe or in the United States.

The atmosphere of this concert was reminiscent of the
casino at the Montreux Festival. In this instance,
Tower of Power was a nine-piece band, plus lead
vocalist Brent Carter. The band instrumentation
consisted of two trumpets, two tenor saxophones,
one baritone saxophone, organ, guitar, bass, and drums.
They were extremely “tight,” playing with authority and
flair while clearly enjoying themselves.

At least four original members of the group from the late
1960’s were featured, including drummer Dave Garibaldi.
In fact, tenor saxophonist and vocalist, Emilio Castillo,
mentioned that this was a 30th Anniversary Concert
for the group.

Although I’ve heard a number of their albums, as well
as the contributions from their “horn” section on albums
from other artists, this was the first time I’ve seen
performance footage of this seminal Soul/Funk/Jazz group.
By the time this footage was broadcast, Tower of Power
was an institution. Based upon what I watched here,
that moniker was well deserved.

The overall production values seemed to be good,
and I’d like to watch other concerts from the “Ohne Filter”
series. In addition to the aforementioned interview with
Michael Au, other bonus features included a printed
biography of the band in about five different
languages, making this a highly recommended disc.

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