Gil Scott-Heron and his Amnesia Express-Tales of Gil (1990)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||1990|
|Running Time||59:58 (Case: 62)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Nick Bigsby|
Gil Scott Heron
|RPI||$34.95||Music||Gil Scott Heron|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, some crowd members.|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, the credits roll over the final song and applause.|
Having not heard of Gil Scott Heron prior to receiving this review disc, I found the concert enjoyable - a good concert from a group of very talented musicians - even if it is a little short. After doing some reading on Scott Heron however, it seems that this concert is not really what his fans are looking for. Not only does it not include any of his spoken-word work, or poetry, but it lacks his most well-known song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. An indication of how important this song is in Scott Heron's body of work is that the short video conversation with music journalist Kevin Le Gendre about the concert spends almost half its running time discussing how important the song is, and its various influences - before acknowledging its absence from the concert.
Whether or not the song was originally part of the concert is now known only to those who attended the gig in 1990, as this presentation has obviously been culled from a longer concert. What was left is quite short, containing only six songs, and really isn't going to be attractive to any but die-hard fans, although even they should be aware that this is very much a blues performance that doesn't contain The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
|1. Three Miles Down|
2. We Almost Lost Detroit
3. Angel Dust
|4. Winter In America|
6. The Bottle
Presented at 1.33:1, almost certainly the correct aspect ratio, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is not sharp, although it is not bad enough to be blurry. The detail is generally sufficient, although it is never good enough to make out fine aspects (for example, hairs). There is no grain as such, owing to the video source, although there is quite a bit of video noise (such as at 29:19) that is present in almost every shot. Shadow detail is acceptable, and the high lighting levels reduce its importance anyway. There is plenty of low-level noise (such as at 3:47), again pointing to a video source.
Colours are a little faded, lending the entire concert a slightly "bland" look, as even the stage lights lack any real depth of colour.
There is little in the way of pixelization in this transfer, although at times when the noise becomes very obvious there is some small amount in the background. There is quite a bit of chroma noise in the image (as at 23:19), not helped by the tendency to use blue hues in the lighting. There is also some colour bleeding (the mike stand at 6:05), and at times the overall brightness level of the transfer will pulsate quite noticeably (such as between 26:55 and 27:15). Aliasing is still quite common for a transfer that is not at all sharp, although most instances are quite minor. The worst occur on the guitar strings at 14:31, and the mike at 40:28, but there are a number of minor instances. There are no film artefacts present, as would be expected for video-sourced material.
There are no subtitles on this disc.
This is a single layered disc, and as such does not contain a layer change.
There are two audio tracks present on this disc, being the concert audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps), and the concert audio with track-by-track commentary also in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps).
Vocals and dialogue are always clear and easy to understand. The instruments are well represented, and while not crystal clear are generally well separated. There is some hiss that enters the recording from time-to-time, but it is only noticeable during track introductions when there is no music, such as from 35:38 until the song starts. The only real problem is the sound of the crowd. They don't so much sound like a canned audience as an audience in a can, with some terrible distortion on the crowd noise that makes them sound almost metallic. Audio sync is spot on throughout the transfer and is never a problem.
While the front soundstage is nice and wide, and used to full extent, the rear speakers stay close to silent for the entirety of the concert. They do not even come to life during applause and the like.
The subwoofer is used effectively to back up the bass and kick-drum, although this is not a very bass-heavy mix.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is quite poor, looking very much like it comes from a ten year old video tape.
The audio quality is better, although the total lack of surround use is a little disappointing.
The extras, while they last, are very interesting - it's a pity that they are so short (quality over quantity doesn't apply when the quantity is close to zero).
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|