P Montreux Jazz Festival (2009)

Montreux Jazz Festival (2009)
Prince Wows The Jazz Elite

As big a fan as I am of Prince (especially when he’s workin’ his Cool Mutherfucker routine), I don’t own many live boots of the guy. There’s something about the sound of most of ’em – tinny, with weak and ineffectual drums – that makes it hard (for me, anyway) to listen to. Which is why this excellent 2009 performance at Montreux is so good. Great sound, two shows, one night, and some soulful set list choices tailored for the Montreux crowd – spotlighting Prince’s jazz/soul/pop fusion sides (using obscure tunes from The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale and material written for other artists). Prince has done this before. He’s routinely incorporated jazz into his nightly repertoire, but it usually takes a backseat to his funk & soul sides. Prince altered his M.O. for Montreux, spotlighting the band’s lush soulful groove over the beat-heavy funk. His guitar style here is less gymnastic-Hendrix and more studied-Santana (who he name-checks), all with an MOR string chaser. Listen to the cool groove anchoring “When The Lights Go Down,” as P conducts the audience into “Willing & Able.” This is good  stuff. The tone, tempo and feel of “Little Red Corvette” is masterful, as the audience adds a haunting “slow down” chorus behind Prince’s forcibly restrained leads. I’ve always liked this side of Prince, and – as part of a larger show dedicated to this overall style – it provides another opportunity to witness Prince’s subtle soul mojo up close. He rocks out a bit more for the second show, adding a few rousing crowd pleasers… and even a Hendrix cover. Nearly 3 hours in total. There’s a ton of Prince in the archives, click HERE.

1st Show
When Eye Lay My Hands On U (6:33)
Little Red Corvette (6:13)
Somewhere Here On Earth (5:10)
When The Lights Go Down (6:40)
Willing & Able (2:45)
Eye Love U But Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore (5:07)
She Spoke 2 Me (6:25)
Love Like Jazz (3:06)
All This Love (8:36)
Empty Room (5:35)
Elixer (5:09)
In A Large Room With No Light (8:21)
Insatiable (3:28)
Scandalous (3:13)
The Beautiful Ones (3:47)
Nothing Compares 2 U (6:40)
Claude Nobs Speech (1:03)

2nd Show
Band Introduction (1:04)
When Eye Lay My Hands On U (6:34)
Stratus/That’s It (3:32)
Drums Solo (1:51)
Stratus (reprise) (0:47)
All Shook Up (4:14)
Peach (5:25)
Spanish Castle Magic (3:01)
When U Were Mine (4:21)
Little Red Corvette (6:15)
Somewhere Here On Earth (5:02)
She Spoke 2 Me (6:08)
Eye Love U But Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore (5:57)
Love Like Jazz (3:19)
All The Critics Love U In Montreux (11:23)
In A Large Room With No Light (8:33)
Purple Rain (10:33)
Claude Nobs Speech (2:39)


  • Willard
    August 1, 2011 - 09:02 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Leon
    August 1, 2011 - 21:44 | Permalink

    Heck YES – can’t wait to hear this. Thanks Willard — the sample sounds NICE.

  • JM
    August 2, 2011 - 09:24 | Permalink

    Thanks — really looking forward to hearing this.

  • Sefton
    August 2, 2011 - 09:49 | Permalink

    Excellent! Awesome! Thanks!

  • August 2, 2011 - 10:06 | Permalink


  • Allez
    August 3, 2011 - 15:20 | Permalink

    Thank you for all your great Prince shares, Willard

    • Willard
      August 3, 2011 - 16:53 | Permalink

      Can’t help it. Love the guy.

  • Miles
    August 3, 2011 - 23:05 | Permalink

    Ditto all of the above comments! Prince = a whirlwind of talent and grooves that are in the pocket. The samples you’ve provided sound pretty good, so I’m anxious to hear these sets in their entirety except maybe for the drum solo. Thank God it’s under 2 minutes. Otherwise, it appears to be an interesting choice of material with one song that apparently was written expressly for the ocassion — ‘All the Critics Love U in Montreux.’

    Thanks Willard for being such a champion of Prince. He, Marvin, and Curtis are my triumvirate of soul (although there are others who hold a close second).

    • Willard
      August 4, 2011 - 02:09 | Permalink

      Thanks Miles. Actually, I’d also recommend folks head over to your place for those special Prince remixes. Actually, that song’s a re-working of his “All The Critics Love U In New York.” But, you and I agree (again) on the soul pantheon. Curtis can be heartbreaking sometimes.

  • Pat Carty
    August 9, 2011 - 09:34 | Permalink

    thanks Willard

  • Leonard Zelig
    December 5, 2011 - 05:51 | Permalink

    Great stuff. Wonderful sound, perfect show.
    Thanks a lot Captain Willard

  • eric
    April 26, 2012 - 02:39 | Permalink

    where can I purchase prince montreux jazz video dvd??

  • Willard
    April 26, 2012 - 02:44 | Permalink

    Didn’t know there was one. If there is, check Amazon.

  • Alexfripou
    April 28, 2012 - 08:36 | Permalink

    Once again, great stuff
    thank you very much

  • Francis
    November 23, 2012 - 04:09 | Permalink

    This is the best live Prince I’ve heard since the soundboard version of the Birthday Show was released. Great song selections, great performance. Just terrific — thanks for posting! (Though is anyone else hearing a glitch in “All Shook Up”?)

    I gather there is a video of the show as well (called “Montreux Like Jazz”), but it’s also not an official release.

    • Willard
      November 23, 2012 - 22:28 | Permalink

      Yeah, this is a smooth show. I’ve had bad luck downloading Prince boots because of the sound of most of them. This one’s mighty satisfying. I don’t understand why this guy doesn’t release this stuff himself. If the CD model is dead, then just give it away yourself and use it as a loss-leader for an online business operation, like The Stones are doing. P needs to get his mind straight.

  • Willard
    November 24, 2012 - 10:03 | Permalink

    Cool… thanks Francis. No, I haven’t heard that one, so thanks for the link. Grabbing it now. Cheers.

  • Richard England
    November 30, 2012 - 18:06 | Permalink

    According to some other blogs, there is also an aftershow disk for this concert. Alas their d/l links are dead, and now I can’t find the link.
    There are some great covers here:
    Thank, Willard. I would never have dreamed of listening to prince as r&b, pop, funk aren’t my thing. But the live concerts are something else.

  • Willard
    November 30, 2012 - 18:31 | Permalink

    Thanks. Prince is a genius.

  • Rick
    March 29, 2013 - 07:03 | Permalink

    The 2 x DVD5 unofficial videos of this concert (good camera work, although not a sharp image, and the coloured lights reduce the clarity) can be d/l here:

  • Anonymous
    September 5, 2014 - 18:37 | Permalink

    just want to say a huge thanks for sharing your Prince collection — some fantastic bootlegs esp birthday show & it ain’t over

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