Standards II (Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/John DeJohnette) (1986)

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Released 18-Nov-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Quiz
Music Video-Young and Foolish
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 90:39 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Kaname Kawachi
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Keith Jarrett
Gary Peacock
Jack DeJohnette
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Sometimes there can never be too much of a good thing. Hot on the heels (well, actually, a year later) of Standards Volume I, these is another recording of a concert by the Keith Jarrett trio playing a selection of popular and jazz "standard tunes" of the sort that would be familiar to every cocktail bar pianist.

    Keith Jarrett has been called one of the most gifted pianists of the last few decades, and also one of the most idiosyncratic. Born in 1945 in Allentown, PA, USA, his perfect pitch and talent for music was recognised early. He started taking music lessons at the age of three, and began composing music almost immediately. He played his first full length concert at the age of six. Although most people know him as a jazz pianist - working with musicians such as Art Blakely, Miles Davis, and Gary Burton before launching a very successful solo career - he is classically trained and in the 1980s released a number of classical albums as well as performing in classical recitals. He is probably most well known for his solo piano improvisations such as The Köln Concert.

    In the 1980s, Keith Jarrett started a trio consisting of himself, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The aim was to record an album of "standards" i.e. well known jazz tunes. That album, entitled "Standards Vol. 1" became so popular that many more albums were produced and concerts given. An earlier DVD of the same name has been released based on a concert held in Japan at the Koseinekin Hall in Tokyo on 15 February 1985.

    This concert was recorded at a different venue, the Hitomi Memorial Hall, Tokyo, on 26 October 1986. The playing style is exactly the same as on the previous DVD: reaching into the heights of joyful exhilaration and the depths of sophisticated subtle lyricism. From the moment we hear the opening bars played on the piano, we are transported to a magical and enchanting place which we want to stay in forever.

    This time around, I recognised more of the tunes, which makes it more enjoyable for me - like When You Wish Upon A Star, Georgia On My Mind and When I Fall In Love.

    As before, the major flaw that mars my enjoyment of the performance is Keith Jarrett's incessant, persistent and rather annoying vocalizations - which get so loud at times that I felt as if I was surrounded by bees. His gyrations though I can accept, even though they are sometimes eye-boggling, almost as if he is taking his intimate relationship with the piano a little too far.

    The concert ends with two encores: On Green Dolphin Street and Woody'n You.

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Track Listing

1. You Don't Know What Love Is
2. With A Song In My Heart
3. When You Wish Upon A Star
4. All Of You
5. Blame It On My Youth
6. Love Letters
7. Georgia On My Mind
8. You And The Night And The Music
9. When I Fall In Love
10. On Green Dolphin Street
11. Woody'n You

Transfer Quality

Video

    As this concert was originally recorded on video it is in full frame.

    As with the previous DVD, the quality of the transfer is extremely high. In fact, I would probably rate this as a reference quality transfer.

    Detail levels are high and there is no evidence of saturated highlights common to most concerts captured on videotape. In fact, I am almost tempted to think the concert may have been recorded onto film, in which case the film source is extremely clean indeed since I did not see any film artefacts, not even grain.

    Colour saturation is pretty much perfect. Skin tones in particular look very natural. Shadow detail likewise is high as evidenced by the reflections of Keith's fingers on the panel on top of the keys. The background (or should I perhaps say "blackground") is by design featureless and black, and is at a level just slightly above 0 IRE.

    I did not find any evidence of compression artefacts apart from very slight posterization. Curiously, video artefacts are also absent apart from very minor and subtle aliasing.

    There are no subtitle tracks.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). I would have preferred Linear PCM or a higher bitrate, but the audio track sounds quite decent. This time around, the audio track is mastered at a fairly high level - maybe 1-2dB higher than a CD with dialogue normalization set to +4dB.

    This is pretty much a reference quality audio track as well, with a wide and deep soundstage, a pleasingly full and rounded sound, good dynamics and extended frequency response. If I was not aware of the audio format, I could easily have mistaken this for a PCM track.

    There is no dialogue in the concert, not even stage talk in between songs. However, Keith utters quite a lot of vocalizations which accompany his piano playing, which I found rather annoying on quite a few of the songs. I don't really mind the grunts and the yells but the nasal humming is rather distracting.

    I did not notice any audio synchronization issues with this disc.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no real extras apart from a mini-quiz and a bonus music video.

Menu

    The menu is full frame but is animated and includes background audio.

Music Video - Quiz (9:36)

    This is a set of three multiple-choice questions about Keith Jarrett and the other musicians in the trio. If you answer them correctly, you are rewarded with a bonus music video consisting of a "deleted song" from the the concert footage (Young and Foolish), presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    I found these questions easier to answer than on the previous DVD and managed to get answers to all three right on the first attempt (yeah!).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc (probably - unconfirmed) misses out on;

    My vote will go for the R1 release since it is a Linear PCM audio track. However, I have to say that the Dolby Digital track is excellent.

Summary

    Standards II is another concert (recorded in Tokyo in 1986) of the Keith Jarrett trio (consisting of Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) playing improvisations on a number of well-known (and not so well known) jazz tunes. This is a must have for any jazz connoisseur, and Keith Jarrett fans in particular.

    The full frame video transfer is of reference quality.

    The audio transfer (Dolby Digital 2.0) is of reference quality although a Linear PCM track would be better.

    Extras are limited to a mini-quiz and a bonus music video.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDCustom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 1800+, 512MB, Pioneer DVD-103S, WinXP, PowerDVD 4.0 XP), using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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