James Taylor & Band-Pull Over Tour (2002)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-The Making Of October Road
|Year Of Production||2002|
|Running Time||109:25 (Case: 119)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (64:33)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Milton Lage|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.75:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, after the concert footage|
It's hard to believe, but singer/songwriter James Taylor has a career that spans over 35 years and he is still going strong.
From his first self-titled album, released in 1968 on the ill-fated Apple label, to his latest (October Road), James have been consistently singing his unique style of folk-inspired adult rock. He is gifted with a beautiful, calming voice that seems to encapsulate years of experience, memories and feelings.
Those in the know would also have noticed that James Taylor has been in the forefront when it comes to studio technology and making good-sounding recordings. Three of his albums - JT, Hourglass and October Road - have been released as multi-channel Super Audio CDs and they sound fantastic. 1997's Hourglass won a Grammy for "Best Pop Vocal Album" and "Best Engineered Recording."
Likewise, DVD aficionados will be aware that the "Live from the Beacon Theater" DVD has one of the best sounding Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mixes on a music DVD, and many stores used it as a demo disc to show off just how good surround music on DVD can be. The Linear PCM audio track (recorded at a higher than normal resolution of 48/24) is also superb.
Needless to say, I'm really excited about reviewing this new DVD. It is another live concert recording, taken from the Summer 2001 "Pull Over" tour and featuring James and his new band at the Rosemount Theater, Chicago. This DVD has been released in Australia just in time for his tour in February 2003.
James is in fine form in this concert, and his voice seems to get better and better over the years. He performs a mix of old and new songs. Although a sticker on the front of the DVD says "Live in 2001 featuring songs from October Road" this concert was held before the release of the album and James only sings about three songs that would have been new to the audience members and subsequently made it to the album: On The 4th Of July, Whenever You're Ready, and Raised Up Family. I was surprised that he did not perform any songs from the Hourglass album, unlike on the previous DVD. Also, some of my favourite songs are not on the playlist, including Only A Dream In Rio.
Never mind. There are enough songs in here to make me deliriously happy, and if anything the Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds even better than on the previous DVD, if that is at all possible.
The members of his band are:
Fans of the Blues Brothers film will no doubt recognise Lou Marini as "Blue Lou."
|1. Program Start|
3. That's Why I'm Here
4. Only One
5. Frozen Man Introduction
6. Frozen Man
7. On The 4th Of July
8. Whenever You're Ready
9. Raised Up Family
10. Luis Conte Percussion Solo
12. Steamroller Blues
13. Carolina In My Mind
|15. Sun On The Moon|
16. Junkie's Lament
18. Shed A Little Light
19. Fire & Rain
20. You've Got A Friend
21. Your Smiling Face
22. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You
23. Traffic Jam
24. Knock On Wood
25. You Can Close Your Eyes
26. Sweet Baby James
We do get a widescreen transfer, in an aspect ratio approximating 1.75:1 but unfortunately it is not 16x9 enhanced.
The overall transfer quality is high, with good detail and colour saturation. The source appears to be digital videotape, but saturated highlights have been kept to a minimum and I did no detect any major instances of low level video noise.
The only video artefacts I noticed were aliasing (especially around guitar strings) and the occasional signs of slight haloing due to edge enhancement. I also noticed occasional shimmering.
Compression artefacts were limited to slight Gibb's effect ringing.
Unfortunately, there are no subtitle tracks.
This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs at Track 16 around 64:33 just before the start of Copperline. Unfortunately, it results in a screen freeze and a disruption in the audio but there really isn't a better spot to place the layer change.
There are two audio tracks on this disc: English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s), and English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s).
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is pretty much reference quality, meeting my very high expectations and certainly comparable to the quality of the 5.1 audio track on James Taylor's previously released concert DVD - "Live At The Beacon Theater." It is also quite loud, having been encoded with dialog normalization set to +4dB.
All 5.1 channels are active in what is clearly a discrete multichannel mix. The audience noises are well distributed across all channels. The music tends to come from mainly the front channels, with the rear channels used for ambience and audience clapping, creating a very believable and expansive soundstage. I really felt I was right there in the concert hall.
The sound was fairly full-bodied, with an extended frequency response and plenty of "slam," which reminded me a lot of the sound of the Hourglass album which I really liked.
In comparison, the Linear PCM 2.0 track was also really good, although I was a bit disappointed that we only got a 48/16 track as opposed to the "high resolution" 48/24 track on the Beacon Theater DVD. In comparison to the Dolby Digital track, it is much softer in volume, and in fact softer than a typical CD by about 3dB.
The PCM track sounded smoother and more "natural" than the Dolby Digital track, which sounded a bit harsh and "brittle" in comparison. The timbre of James' voice especially sounded more airy with less of a nasal undertone. However, the PCM audio track also seemed slightly less "bassy" than the Dolby Digital track.
The subwoofer was generously used to support the low frequencies in the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track and used to give a bit of an extra "slam" into the music.
I did not have any issues with dialogue clarity or audio synchronization.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are not that many extras, but then this is a music DVD.
The main menu is full frame and includes animation and background audio. The other menus are static.
This is a short featurette presented in full frame and Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s). It is narrated by James Taylor and features footage of him in the studio recording the album October Road. James talks a bit about the songs on the album, the recording process (it was interesting to find out he likes recording onto analogue tape) and his views of 5.1 surround sound. The featurette also includes a interview with Russ Titelman.
This is a text-based biography of James Taylor, presented over five stills. It mainly focuses on his album and career rather than personal life, so we don't get any juicy bits about his relationship with Carly Simon and supposed connections with other female artists including Joni Mitchell.
This provides album covers and track listings for all his albums released to date, from his first self-titled debut on Apple Records, to his Warner and Columbia releases, plus details on his Beacon Theater DVD. I was surprised to note that they have taken the trouble to indicate which albums are also released on Super Audio CD.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 and 4 releases appear to be identical apart from PAL vs NTSC formatting.
Pull Over is another great concert DVD from singer/songwriter James Taylor.
The widescreen transfer is unfortunately not 16x9 enhanced but is still pretty good.
Both audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 and Linear PCM) are reference quality.
Extras include a featurette.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Denon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)|
|Speakers||Front and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500|