The Gadd Gang-Live: On Digital Video (1988)

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Released 9-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Notes-Concert Info
Notes-Notes And Facts
DVD-ROM Extras-Weblinks
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 59:44 (Case: 98)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yasuhiko Sato

Warner Vision
Starring Steve Gadd
Cornell Dupree
Eddie Gomez
Richard Tee
Ronnie Cuber
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, last song continues through credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I am a fan of most genres of music and have a large collection of CDs and LPs (you remember, those big black things with the little hole in the middle). One of the genres I enjoy is Jazz, in most of its many guises. I am especially fond of music which transcends the boundaries between Jazz, Blues, Soul, R&B and Funk, such as by artists like Grant Green, Stanley Turrentine, Rusty Bryant, Boogaloo Joe Jones and many more. It was with some interest that I approached this DVD by a group I had not heard of, The Gadd Gang, formed in the 1980s by Steve Gadd, a well known session drummer and a number of other extremely talented session artists. They only recorded one album as a group and did some touring, including some shows in Japan in 1988. One of these shows, at the Rappongi Pit Inn on June 7, 1988, was recorded using what would then have been state of the art (and very new) digital video recording facilities.

    The band consists of five very talented instrumentalists who have mostly made their careers through side work and studio sessions. None of them have ever been particularly famous in their own right and truthfully I had only heard of one of them before deciding to review this DVD, the guitarist Cornell Dupree. The full band is:

    The show itself is very enjoyable soul/funk jazz and includes all cover versions or jams based on jazz, soul and even pop songs, all done in a funky soul jazz style. All of the players are obviously experts and the band is a very tight unit. Visually, the show is not overly interesting, as you might expect from a group of mostly session musicians playing in a small club. The quality of the music makes up for this. The cover lists the DVD as approximately 98 minutes. This is incorrect - the running time is just less than 60 minutes.

    The songs are:

  1. Things Ain't What They Used To Be - A Duke Ellington penned jazz standard.
  2. I Can't Turn You Loose - The Otis Redding hit.
  3. Watching the River Flow - A funky version of the Bob Dylan tune.
  4. My Girl - Changes - A medley of the Smokey Robinson tune and a funk fusion Buddy Miles number. Includes a cool bass solo.
  5. Whiter Shade of Pale - The Procul Harem song. Probably the least interesting number in the show although certainly not bad.
  6. Signed, Sealed, Delivered - This Stevie Wonder number includes some excellent solos on guitar, piano and drums.
  7. Honky Tonk - I Can't Stop Loving You - Just to make sure they cover a large range of genres, they finish with a medley of country tunes, but obviously done in a soul jazz style.

    If you are a fan of this style of jazz, you will certainly enjoy this show.

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Track Listing

1. Things ain't what they used to be
2. I can't turn you loose
3. Watching the river flow
4. My girl - Changes
5. Whiter shade of pale
6. Signed, sealed, delivered
7. Honky Tonk - I can't stop loving u

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is excellent considering the age of the recording.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, surprisingly so for a concert film of this age. It is not at the same level of sharpness as the best modern concert recordings such as Concert for George, however, it is excellent for its age. I am sure this can be put down to the recording originally being digital. Considering the brightly lit stage, shadow detail in the audience and other areas was surprisingly good. There was some light grain from time to time. There was no low level noise. The video has been transferred at a high bitrate, averaging nearly 7 Mbps.

    The colour was good, however there was really very little colour to show.

    From an artefacts perspective, I noticed a little aliasing in the credits and some comet trails from the saxophone. Otherwise, there was nothing to complain about.

    There are no subtitles but since there is only a very small amount of dialogue that is not really a problem.


Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good but not overly dynamic compared to modern concert recordings. Considering the age of the recording you really cannot complain.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    The music comes across well from the front speakers, with all instruments being well defined and easy to distinguish. The sound is clear and enjoyable.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu includes a still photograph, music and the ability to select tracks or chapters.

Text Pages of Information

    The main concert includes an icon at the end of each track that when selected takes you to information regarding the track and its author. This information is also accessible from the main menu. Also included are text pages covering details of the band, the show and the careers of the individual members.

DVD-ROM Extras

    Included on the disc are HTML pages giving links to websites for each of the performers. Most of them work.

R4 vs R1

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

    This show is available in Region 1 combined with another show called Roots: Salute to the Saxophone, for a reasonable price. On this basis the Region 1 version of the disc is the winner.


    A live performance by a group of very talented studio musicians which combines jazz, soul and funk.

    The video quality is excellent considering the age of the recording.

    The audio quality is good but a little lacking in dynamism.

    The disc has only text based extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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