Fourplay-An Evening of Fourplay-Volumes I and II (1994)

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Released 17-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Biographies-Cast
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 116:16 (Case: 120)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Stanley Dorfman
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Bob James
Lee Ritenour
Nathan East
Harvey Mason
Chaka Khan
Phillip Bailey
Phil Perry
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Fourplay
Marvin Gaye
Isley Brothers


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 English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, songs over end titles

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Plot Synopsis

    Contemporary jazz group Fourplay consists of four musicians each of whom has built a career in his own right as a session musician:

    In addition, both Bob James and Lee Ritenour have recorded many successful solo albums. Since then, Lee Ritenour has left the group and has been replaced by his friend and fellow guitarist Larry Carlton.

    Their music can best be described as contemporary smooth jazz with strong pop influences. Their music sometimes dangerously skirts around the edges of the sort of muzak they play in airplanes to calm passengers during a flight (unkind critics would probably say their music defines the genre!), but there's no denying there's a lot of talent and professionalism in the group.

    This concert was recorded at the Capitol Studio in Los Angeles, CA. on 14 December 1993. Originally released as two VHS videos (hence Volume 1 & 2 in the title), they have been combined into a single DVD.

    On the first volume, the four musicians are joined on stage by two backing vocalists: Phillip Bailey and Phil Perry.

    The name of each song is burned in to the video stream as a caption at the beginning of the song. The second song, Monterey, is prefaced by a Lee Ritenour guitar solo. Similarly, Midnight Stroll starts off with a drum solo by Harvey Mason. After this, the band decide to try their hand at a Marvin Gaye song, with Nathan East bravely taking on the lead singer role. The last song on Volume 1 features a piano solo by Bob James.

    Volume 2 opens with my favourite song from the concert - Wish You Were Here. Then we get another Bob James led song called Moonjogger. A Summer Child is another nice ballad. Amoroso features an extended duet between Lee Ritenour and Harvey Mason. Between the Sheets is a vocal duet between Nathan East and guest singer Chaka Khan. Finally, Flying East has a synthesizer introduction by Bob James.

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Track Listing

1. Chant
2. Monterey
3. 101 Eastbound
4. Midnight Stroll
5. After The Dance
6. Bali Run
7. Wish You Were Here
8. Moonjogger
9. A Summer Child
10. Amoroso
11. Between The Sheets
12. Flying East

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a full frame transfer. The feature was originally recorded using Sony Digital Betacam, which would explain why the transfer looks like a cross between analogue video and film.

    There are no composite video artefacts nor saturated highlights typical of analogue video, but at the same time the overall look is not really film like.

    The overall transfer quality is good. Detail levels are high though not really reference quality. The only artefact I noticed was occasionally shimmering, which I suspect is due to a NTSC-to-PAL conversion.

    There is a hidden English subtitle track, but it appears to be silent.

    This is a single sided single layered disc. Unfortunately the video has been encoded without chapter durations, making it hard to know how far the title has progressed.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on the disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s).

    Contemporary smooth jazz requires a well recorded audio track, with tight bass, scintillating highs, good dynamics and a wide and deep soundstage. Unfortunately, I got none of those.

    The music is recorded at a very low volume level, and sounds rather muffled even when the volume level is cranked up.

    The audio track is only stereo, which means no surround or subwoofer activity.

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

Extras

Menu

    Main menu includes an intro, animation and background music.

Biographies-Cast

    This consists of a number of still pages - one providing an overview of the group, and four additional stills, one for each musician.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this disc appear identical apart from NTSC versus PAL formatting.

Summary

    This is a concert performance by contemporary smooth jazz group Fourplay, recorded in 1993 in front of a studio audience. Originally split into two video tapes, both segments of the concert have been combined into a single DVD release.

    The video transfer is good.

    The audio transfer is mediocre.

    There are no extras apart from biographical stills.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Wednesday, April 23, 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 surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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