Miles Davis-Tutu (DVD-Audio) (1986) (NTSC)

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Released 21-Oct-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Booklet
Discography
Biographies-Cast-Miles Davis
Credits
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 42:17
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Peter Doell
Eric Calvi
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Miles Davis
Marcus Miller
Case DVD-Audio Jewel
RPI $32.95 Music Various


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Audio MLP 96/24 5.1
Audio MLP 96/24 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
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

    Legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis (1926-1991) is so influential that many other famous jazz musicians are linked to him - either because they have played with him or for him, or they have been inspired by him. The list of musicians who have been part of his band read like a Who's Who of Jazz: Gil Evans, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, and Billy Cobham are but a few names of former band members who became famous in their own right. His career spans nearly 50 years from the 1940s to the 1990s and he was part of nearly every important innovation in jazz during that period. And yet his playing style is quite distinctive - lyrical, introspective and melodic, and yet with a blistering intensity.

    Many of Miles' best albums are with the Columbia label, including Kind Of Blue, Sketches of Spain and many others. In 1986, he switched labels to Warner and Tutu is his first Warner album, winning him his fourth Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.

    It is a somewhat controversial album, since it is highly engineered and overdubbed with a heavy synth backdrop. Most of the other instruments are overdubbed and played by producer Marcus Miller. There are a few guest musicians including Paulinho da Costa (percussion) on several tracks, George Duke (keyboards) in Backyard Blues, Omar Hakim (drums and percussion) on Tomaas and Michael Urbaniak (electric violin) on Don't Lose Your Mind.

    Most of the songs can be described as "moody but funky". I prefer early Miles, but this is quite listenable. Sony has been remastering and releasing most of Miles' albums on Super Audio CD in recent years, so I suspect this is Warner's attempt at stealing some of the thunder.

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Track Listing

1. Tutu
2. Tomaas
3. Portia
4. Splatch
5. Backyard Ritual
6. Perfect Way
7. Don't Lose Your Mind
8. Full Nelson

Transfer Quality

Video

    Like most of the Warner DVD-Audio discs released to date, the video content on this disc is in full frame NTSC. We get one photo still per song that also includes the song title, composer credits and track duration.

Audio

    There are three audio tracks on this disc: MLP 5.1 96/24 and MLP 2.0 96/24 on the DVD-Audio portion, and Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) on the DVD-Video portion. A Linear PCM and dts 5.1 track would have been nice additions.

    First of all, the CD. The copy that I have is the original release, circa 1986. Digital audio mastering technology was still in its infancy then, and the CD sounds very dull and muffled by today's standards.

    By comparison, the MLP 2.0 track is a revelation! Forgive me for using the well worn cliché, but listening to the high resolution remastering is exactly like lifting a velvet curtain off my speakers. This remastering really brings out the dynamics and punchiness of the recording, with real improvements in deep bass and high frequencies. Cymbals sound scintillating. The drums and bass kicks out across the room. Compared to the CD, it is about 3dB louder but then the CD is recorded at a soft level by today's standards.

    The MLP 5.1 is equally as impressive, featuring a discrete surround remix from the original multi-track. Most of the music is carried by the front left and right speakers, with the centre channel used as an ambience filler. Various instruments are placed into the rear speakers, mostly percussion and synth but also including the occasional rhythm guitar.

    Track 7 (Don't Lose Your Mind) features some imaginative panning of instruments and sound effects across all speakers and is quite enjoyable to listen to - certainly far more enjoyable to the (by comparison) "boring" stereo version!

    The subwoofer is used effectively to support the low frequency portion of the music, but deep bass is also present in the front left and right channels.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track definitely does not sound as crisp and punchy as the MLP 5.1 audio track.

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

Extras

    The extras are minimal and replicated on both DVD-Audio and DVD-Video portions of the disc.

Menu

    The menus are full frame and static, but include an animated introduction and menu transitions.

Booklet

    This is a single page folded into three. It is in black and white. One side contains three photos of Miles Davis (hands and face). The other side contains track listing, and musician/production credits.

Discography

    This is a set of six stills selected from a sub-menu. Each still displays the album cover and track listing. As is to be expected, only Miles Davis albums with the WEA label are included here - none of the Columbia albums are included.

Biography

    This is a set of six stills featuring a short text biography of Miles Davis.

Credits

    This is a set of four stills listing musicians and production team.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc appears to be identically featured across all regions.

Summary

    Tutu is the first album from legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis on the Warner label and Warner obviously thought it was worthy of remastering for DVD-Audio. The results are excellent, and far superior to the CD release.

    Audio tracks include MLP 96/24 5.1 and MLP 96/24 2.0 on the DVD Audio portion, plus Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD-Video portion. The quality of the audio is excellent.

    Extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Monday, January 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component 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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