I still find it ironic that one can find better music footage on PBS than on MTV. Last weekend, watching public television, I caught a several scenes from the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, an event organized by Eric Clapton. The concert was held at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois on July 28, 2007.

[image-1]Founded in 1997, Crossroads Centre, Antigua was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent persons, those with other compulsive addictive behaviors, their families and significant others. The 2007 concert is available this month on DVD from Rhino.

Highlights: a brief “jam” between actor Bill Murray and Clapton during a version of Them’s “Gloria;” an 81-year-old B.B. King’s rendition of the classic “The Thrill Is Gone;” John Mayer’s backing band and tasteful solos (yes, the guy has chops and feel); and Jeff Beck’s instrumental reworking of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.” The performance that blew my mind was from Beck’s young female bassist, Tal Wilkenfeld — an Australian prodigy with amazing technique, very similar in style to that of the great, late Jaco Pastorius. (Here’s a clip from the gig on YouTube.com).

[image-2]Wilkenfeld, a 23-year-old native of Sydney, now based in N.Y.C., started out on guitar and recently switched to electric bass. She has performed with such notable musicians as Chick Corea, Jeff Beck, Hiram Bullock, Vinnie Colaiuta, Susan Tedeschi, the Allman Brothers Band, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Wayne Krantz. She released a solo disc titled Transformation (Waterfront) in 2006. Could this young lady be the next big thing in the bass world? I’ll be watching and listening.