COLOSSEUM Officialize Their 2003 Rockpalast Concert

Autumn of 2003 was a difficult period for COLOSSEUM: after a several years’ hiatus, the veterans embarked on a short European tour but their legendary saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith had to stay behind, ensconced in The Royal Free Hospital in London (where this scribe visited him a few weeks before the master passed away), and had to be replaced, for the first time in full capacity, by the no less venerable Barbara Thompson. It was the updated line-up that graced the stage of Viersen Jazz Festival on September 27th to deliver an unusual set which, previously broadcast on TV, will be released soon as “Live At Rockpalast 2003” – a CD/DVD package preserving the historic performance for posterity.

Live At Rockpalast 2003

There are only five pieces there – with snippets of interview with Jon Hiseman, the band’s drummer and leader, included into the video part between the musical numbers – and only two classic compositions, that are preceded by two more recent cuts, one from the then-fresh “Tomorrow’s Blues” album and one from its predecessor, “Bread And Circuses” from 1997, and followed by another recent track, the cover of “In The Heat Of The Night” where the ensemble let rip. The same sextet would go on to issue “Live05” later on, but that concert document’s material proved to be more traditional for the group, making the Rockpalast show rather unique.

1. Tomorrow’s Blues
2. I Could Tell You Tales
3. The Valentyne Suite
4. Lost Angeles
5. In The Heat Of The Night

August 31, 2022

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