10 August 2001 | doire
Otis gives satisfaction.
A short documentary film that still manages to convey the power behind the voice of the late, great Otis Redding. The film basically consists of two old pieces of archival footage welded together showing Otis performing live. In the first piece of footage we see "Brooker T And The MG´s", inevitably performing "Green Onions". Steve Cropper and his mates then act as the backing band for Otis and, first-off, "Sam and Dave" who perform two tracks, most notably a rousing version of "Hold On". Otis treats us to a funky version of "The Rolling Stones" classic "Satisfaction", "My Girl", "Shake" and "Try a little Tenderness". In the second piece of footage, recorded on 17th June 1967, a few month´s before his death, Otis entertains us live at Monterey, supported by "The Mar-Keys". Here he performs "Respect", "I´ve been loving you too long" and, once again, "Shake" and "Try a little tenderness". The latter track is complemented with loving scenes from amongst the live audience at Monterey, Mama Cass from "The Mamas and Papas" looking particularly at peace with the world!. We also hear Otis singing perhaps his best known number "Sittin´ On The Dock Of The Bay", not live but to the accompaniement of a photographic montage depicting the great man at various stages in his career. The film is interesting as an historical document of Otis Redding - The Singer, but it tells us little, if anything, about Otis Redding - The Man. Perhaps it isin´t meant to, but it certainly would have been an interesting dimension to explore!. Still, the footage has documentary film-maker D.A. Pennebaker written all over it and it is indeed credited as "A film by" Pennebaker and his associates Hegelus and Douglas. A worth-while documentary about an important singer and showman, but too short and selective to really allow us to get to know the man. And I never knew that Steve Cropper, Al Jackson or Donald "Duck" Dunn could ever look THAT young!. In this respect, and for a marvellous long version of the aforementioned "Green Onions", "Remembering Otis" is indeed an historical documentary worthy of preservation.