Lou Rawls-The Jazz Channel Presents (2000)
Featurette-Meet The Artist
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Waymer Johnson|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, titles over last song|
Born in Chicago in 1935, Lou Rawls' musical career has spanned over 40 years, 60-plus albums, three Grammy wins, 13 Grammy nominations, one platinum album, five gold albums and a gold single. His music has elements of gospel, blues, soul and pop packaged together with a wonderful singing voice that can be sweet, soft, strong and smooth all at the same time. No wonder that at the height of his career, he was one of the highest paid black performing artists around, and even today the power of his voice is unmistakable in this concert held in an intimate jazz club.
Backed by a 13-piece band and 3 backup singers, Lou is in top form in this concert recording. He has a very pleasing stage presence and is obviously very comfortable and quite dapper-looking in his silk suit with matching silk tie. In between songs, he converses a fair bit to his rapt and very attentive audience. I guess I shouldn't be surprised (given that BET stands for Black Entertainment TV or something) that the audience is predominantly black (although I did notice one white couple sitting on a table), but I would have thought that his target audience would be a lot broader than that suggested by the attendees of this performance. I will confidently predict that anyone who enjoys the music in Blues Brothers will enjoy his songs.
I quite enjoyed this concert. I was surprised that I recognized a few songs, including Let Me Be Good To You, Love Is A Hurtin' Thing and You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine. Lou gives a very interesting version of Louis Armstrong's classic What A Wonderful World, and it was good to be able to hear a rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings that is not completely spoiled by Bette Midler, whose version I've always perceived as being so incredibly off-key that it never ceases to amaze me how anyone can stand listening to it.
The end titles are superimposed over Lou whilst he is still belting out his last number, which I thought was a bit uncaring. I would have strongly preferred that the end titles roll out after the last song against a black background, but I suppose the producers wanted to fit as much music into a 60 minute TV slot as they could, and felt superimposing the titles over the song would allow them to fit more songs in.
|1. Groovy People|
2. Tobacco Road
3. Natural Man
4. Lady Love
5. Let Me Be Good To You
6. Since I Met You Baby
7. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
8. Stormy Monday
|9. Room With A View|
10. Bring It On Home To Me
11. Your Good Thing (Is About To End)
12. What A Wonderful World
13. Hoochie Coochie Man
14. Wind Beneath My Wings
15. You'll Never Find Another Love...
16. See You When I Git There
In general, the transfer seems reasonably clean, with good sharpness, detail and colour saturation. However, closer inspection reveals that the original video source must have been somewhat dirty and someone has applied a fair amount of enhancement to make the transfer look bright and clean. Camera shots of darker, non-spotlighted scenes reveal some degree of colour smearing and video noise. A tell tale sign is that shadow detail of anything not on stage is relatively poor.
In terms of MPEG artefacts, the transfer is relatively clean, apart from slight Gibb effect ringing in various scenes and some aliasing (particularly in the vibes in 31:42).
Surprisingly, this DVD actually comes with several subtitle tracks. I was hoping that one of the subtitle tracks would be in English and that the song lyrics would be transcribed onto the track. But alas, no such luck! The subtitle tracks here contain translations of Lou's stage banter into various foreign languages but do not include translations of the lyrics to the songs. Just for fun, I turned on the Italian subtitle track for a brief period. They didn't do a very good job with the translation as quite a few sentences were missed out, as well as I think the entire conversation between tracks 9 and 10.
The packaging is incorrectly labelled DVD9. The DVD is in fact single layered (DVD5).
The DTS track is actually more like a 4.0 track since the centre channel was not engaged during the entire concert. The soundstage is very front-focused, with the rear surround speakers mainly carrying ambient information. The original audio source must have been in stereo and then remixed into 5.1 as even the audience noises emanate from the front speakers as opposed to coming from the rears.
I was quite impressed by the DTS track - it had a very natural-sounding "live" feel about it, and I can almost imagine Lou and the band playing "live" in front of me. In contrast, the Dolby Digital track sounded very flat and uninspiring, which is a disappointment as I know Dolby Digital can sound better than this. The Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which I listened to briefly, sounded even more insubstantial and seems to be mastered at about 6 dB lower than either of the 5.1 tracks.
I did not detect any audio glitches or synchronization issues. Lou's dialogue can be a bit difficult to understand at times but I think this due to his fast speech rather than any problem with the audio transfer.
|Surround Channel Use|
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601|