Brenda Russell-The Jazz Channel Presents (2001)

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Released 4-Feb-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Meet The Artist
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 72:06
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Waymer Johnson
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Brenda Russell
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Brenda Russell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, the band plays out over the final credits.

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

Plot Synopsis

    I will be totally honest. I did not ask to review this disc. Instead, the job of reviewing this disc sort of just fell into my lap. As such, I came to this disc with no idea of what to expect, let alone any idea as to exactly who Brenda Russell was. What I saw was a relaxed performance from a group of talented musicians that looked ever-so-slightly like most of the performances staged on the local telethon. Seventy two minutes later, I was still pretty much none-the-wiser as to who Brenda Russell really was, but I had enjoyed the concert.

    What I do know is that this concert presented a very pleasant listen that, while never threatening to become an intense concert experience, was refreshing and quite soothing after a hard week at work. Probably the greatest downfall to this show is that, frankly, it looks like a television show. The audience is quite subdued (at least until the latter stages of the show when Brenda Russell gets the audience on their feet), and the stage and lighting just look, well, cheap. As I previously stated, the concert - in terms of lighting and set design - reminds me of performances on telethons, or on the late Hey, Hey, It's Saturday. This does detract from the atmosphere of the production somewhat, but nonetheless I suspect fans will be more than pleased.

    Fortunately, the aural aspect of the presentation is not affected by the "made-for-TV" appearance of the disc. A big let down is the total lack of any form of background information on Brenda Russell - there is not even a discography.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Expect A Miracle
2. Catch On
3. She's In Love
4. Way Back When
5. If Only For One Night
6. Walkin' In New York
7. Love And Paris Rain
8. In An Ideal World
9. Piano In The Dark
10. Please Felipe
11. Something About Your Love
12. So Good So Right
13. Get Here

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer presented here is of a very high quality, and while not perfect, it will certainly please most people.

    Presented full frame 1.33:1, this transfer appears to have been shot on video and transferred to DVD later. I cannot confirm this, but the properties of the transfer appear consistent with an (albeit clean) video source.

    The sharpness of this transfer is quite good, but not spectacular. The entire presentation has very much a "telethon" feel, from the small auditorium to the small stage, and cheap-looking backing lights. Throughout the transfer, grain is always a threatening presence, but it is always kept in check, never breaking out of the backgrounds. Shadow detail is good, although the bright stage lighting keeps it from really being an issue. There is no low-level noise in the transfer.

    The colours appear a little washed out, although this is probably more due to the amount of blue used in the stage lighting than any real problem with the transfer.

    There were no MPEG artefacts visible, and neither were there any film artefacts. The fact that the transfer was not extremely sharp also helped in terms of reducing aliasing, as there are only a few, very minor instances, mostly caused by the grille on the microphone.

    There are no subtitles present on this disc.

    This is a single layer disc and hence contains no layer change.

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good. Although there are certainly concert discs that have done more, this audio transfer is very solid and more than adequately gets the job done.

    There are three audio tracks present on this disc. There are two 5.1 mixes - a Dolby Digital mix at 448Kbps, and a DTS mix. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track at 224Kbps.

    The clarity of individual instruments was very good. There was never a problem with one drowning out another, and vocals were also mixed in at exactly the right level. The only real problem was the applause in the surround soundtracks, which was often louder than the performance, and quite harsh in tone.

    There were no problems with audio sync during the transfer.

    The use of the surround channels was quite extensive, but also subtle. Many instruments were worked into the rear channels, and while this is certainly not to the level of The Corrs: Unplugged, the surround mix is still quite impressive. Obviously crowd noise has been worked into the surround channels as well, and while occasionally it can be quite loud, it is never too much of a distraction. For the stereo mix, the placement across the soundstage is quite wide, giving the mix quite a dynamic feel, separating out the individual sounds quite nicely.

    The subwoofer gets an impressive workout on both surround soundtracks. The DTS track works the bass slightly harder, but both the DTS and Dolby Digital tracks feature very sharp, well defined bass that is a real pleaser to experience.

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

Extras

    There is only a single extra present on this disc, and it did little to enlighten me as to who Brenda Russell is. Even so, it is still a worthwhile inclusion.

Menu

    The menu is static, non 16x9 enhanced, and features the icons usually used on Universal discs.

Meet The Artist (7:20)

    This is not exactly an interview, more seven minutes of Brenda Russell talking direct to camera about some of the influences on her new album. While not lengthy, I found this to be quite interesting, and I would imagine it would be of even more value to fans.

R4 vs R1

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

    From what I can ascertain about the R1 release of this DVD, it is identically featured to our disc.

Summary

    This is a relaxed, easy-going concert from Brenda Russell that is presented on a good quality, albeit extras light, DVD.

    The video quality is very good, although it is encumbered with the appearance of having been shot on video.

    The audio quality certainly breaks no new barriers for concert DVDs, however what is presented is a very solid effort providing a good concert experience.

    This disc contains little in the way of extras, although the single interview is quite interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Thursday, February 07, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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