Diana Krall-The Look of Love (DVD-Audio) (2003) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Tommy LiPuma|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English MLP 96/24 2.0
English MLP 96/24 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Up until only a few years ago I had never really begun to explore the world of jazz - I guess you could call me a late starter. There were several reasons for this, but foremost is that I simply didn't know where to start. The rather substantial range of jazz available at the time I guess was rather daunting for a beginner. However, when Diana Krall appeared on The Panel a few years ago not only was my starting point realised but an absolute love-affair with jazz would at that moment be set in stone forever. While my love of jazz has grown substantially, Diana Krall, with her husky voice and unique, modern twist on some absolutely classic songs, has remained my jazz artist of choice.
The Look Of Love is a small departure from Krall's previous albums - the orchestra in particular plays somewhat of a larger role here, and the tempo as well is generally slower. The presence of Claus Ogerman arranging and conducting the orchestra was no doubt a significant influence on the album. Indeed, those who have seen the Diana Krall: Live In Paris DVD will know of the long standing admiration Diana has for Claus Ogerman. As you might well imagine, given the chance to team up with someone you admire so much, you would be keen to utilise their talent to the greatest extent possible. The culmination of both these talents has resulted in a truly marvellous example of modern jazz that warrants a place in every music collection. While When I Look In Your Eyes still remains my favourite of Diana Krall's albums there's a time when something a little more romantic is required. At such a time, The Look Of Love is very hard to look past.
2. Love Letters
3. I Remember You
4. Cry Me a River
5. Besame Mucho
|6. The Night We Called it a Day|
7. Dancing in the Dark
8. I Get Along Without You Very Well
9. The Look of Love
10. Maybe You'll Be There
The video is presented in 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. Like all other DVD-Audio discs it is presented in NTSC.
The menu and photos are extremely sharp, colourful and clear.
There are no subtitles.
This is without doubt one of the finest examples of multi-channel music I have yet heard and is arguably among the best that DVD-Audio currently has to offer.
The audio is available in MLP 5.1 (96/24) and MLP 2.0 (96/24). For those of you who haven't yet splurged on a DVD-Audio compatible player there is also a Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kbs) version available on the DVD-Video area of the disc.
Diana's vocals are extremely rich and detailed with every nuance in her voice coming through with amazing clarity. In reference to the 5.1 track the vocals are predominantly mixed in the left and right channels with a little fill in the centre channel.
The surround presence in the MLP 5.1 track is truly exemplary - this is truly the very definition of surround sound. From the first track to the last there isn't a moment of silence in any of the channels. In fact, you are literally placed in the centre of the band. There is also an incredible amount of atmosphere present in the mix which when you close your eyes seemingly increases the size of your room five-fold. This is what multi-channel music is all about, and this certainly will be my benchmark for future DVD-Audio releases.
Like the surround channels the subwoofer use is nothing short of spectacular. It consistently provides unparalleled deep resonating bass that exceeds even the best DTS track in terms of accuracy and quality. The kick drum in I Remember You, Dancing In The Dark and The Look Of Love is truly something to behold. This is where every dollar you've spent on a subwoofer is returned with interest.
The MLP 2.0 track, while nowhere near as expansive as the 5.1 track, still retains a lot of atmosphere. The bottom end is also a little weaker than the 5.1 track but this comes as no surprise due to the lack of the LFE channel. It is still very impressive with the richness of the sound clearly surpassing that of CD.
There is virtually nothing in the way of complaints, however, if I had to make one it would be that there is a small but noticeable buzz during the first 30 seconds of I Get Along Without You Very Well. The problem is no doubt present in the original recording and is not a fault of the transfer, so no points need be deducted for that. It should be noted that the buzz is also present in the SACD version which I will cover shortly.
For comparison I also sampled the Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I must say I'm constantly amazed at just how rapidly the improvements in sound quality drop once you reach the 448Kbs mark. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track puts in a very admirable performance but falls short when it comes to the richness and sheer sonic realism of the MLP tracks.
|Surround Channel Use|
Basic static menu without audio.
An 8 page biography detailing highlights in Diana's career. This feature is selectable while the music is playing.
A collection of 14 publicity photographs from The Look of Love as well as previous albums. These are of very high quality and will no doubt attract the attention of many male listeners - as they did me. Again this feature is selectable while the music is playing.
Diana Krall's CD back catalogue containing five albums - Only Trust Your Heart, All For You, Love Scenes, When I Look In Your Eyes and Live In Paris. When selected each will play a brief highlight of the album in PCM 44.1/16. The clips vary between 29 and 41 seconds in length.
The Diana Krall - The Look Of Love DVD-Audio album appears identical worldwide right down to the NTSC formatting. Having said that there is also a Hybrid SACD version with DSD 2.0 and DSD 5.1 (DSD = Direct Stream Digital) available which is also released under the Verve label - hence the actual mixes are the same. At the risk of igniting an SACD versus DVD-A debate I will keep my comments here brief, but I must say it has been a pleasure to finally be able to compare the two formats head to head with the same album. For those who aren't familiar with SACD it is essentially the competing (although now it's more like co-existing) format to DVD-A. Like DVD-A, SACD features high resolution multi-channel audio except with a much higher sampling rate and frequency response. For comparison here are the sampling rates:
DVD-A - 96 KHz (maximum for 5.1 channel audio)
SACD - 2822 KHz (standard for 5.1 channel audio)
Being a Hybrid SACD, the SACD version will also play on regular CD players (in PCM 2.0 44.1/16) as well as SACD players (in DSD 2.0 and DSD 5.1). For this review I compared the 5.1 tracks on both versions, paying attention to not only particular tracks but particular elements of the music within the track including the vocals and pianos. Surprisingly I found little to differentiate the two. Indeed the huge increase in the sampling rate of the SACD is not accompanied by a huge increase in sound quality. Having said that, I found Diana's vocals to be slightly richer with a more depth on the SACD, but not by much. Furthermore, the LFE channel is a little more accurate with more distinct note changes. The DVD-A mix on the other hand is slightly louder than the SACD. In the end I guess it's up to what your hardware compatibility is - if you're SACD compatible then go with the SACD.
The Look Of Love is a sensational album from one of the jazz world's greatest talents.
The MLP 5.1 audio is truly exemplary and far exceeds the humble CD in terms of quality.
The extras are minimal but it's all about the music.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-655A, SACD & DVD-A, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe CT-1170 (66cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D1011, THX Select, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24 & DD 5.1 EX. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer VSX-D1011, THX Select, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24 & DD 5.1 EX|
|Speakers||Front & Centre: Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Surrounds: Sony SS-SRX7S, Surround Back: Paramount Pictures Bookshelf Speakers|