Soul Conversation-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|
Soul Conversation is a collaboration between two jazz guitarists: Mark Whitfield and JK. Mark released his first album when he was 23, after studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. JK is the son of French mime Claude Kipnis. He moved to New York at the age of 11 from Paris. Initially self-taught, he also studied jazz for a while at the University of Miami and was a session player for a number of years. The result of the partnership: electro retro funk grooves to acoustic ballads, with some progressive R&B and smooth jazz thrown in.
In this concert, Mark and JK are backed by four other musicians. All the songs played in the concert are instrumental jazz performances - there are no vocals.
I was really hoping to enjoy this disc, as this is the first "Jazz Channel Presents" disc that seemed to feature music that I would regard as jazz, i.e. full of improvisations and riffs. Mark and JK are obviously good guitarists, but the music is just a trifle predictable for me (I can tell when a riff is coming and also in which direction it is likely to go) and almost descends into the sort of muzak inhabited by the likes of Acoustic Alchemy (if you haven't not heard of Acoustic Alchemy, let me give you a hint: airlines love to schedule their songs as part of "in-flight entertainment"). Is it my imagination, or is the audience in the BET Studio a little bit more sparse compared to the other discs in the series?
My favourite track of the lot is Reflections of You, a moderately listenable ballad. Miami Sunset features a pretty groovy electric piano solo and On The Edge has a good saxophone solo. In fact, Mark and JK looks like they might be in danger of being overshadowed by their backing musicians! The last track In The Backseat has a bit of a blues feel about it. All in all, it's a pretty short concert - just barely over an hour.
The publicity machines will no doubt try and convince you that Soul Conversation are guitar legends in the making. Trust me, not only are the conversations between Mark and JK pretty patchy, but the music can be pretty soulless at times. The end titles are superimposed towards the end of the last track, but in this case I don't care.
|1. Whatever It Takes|
2. Hand To Mouth
3. Talk To Me
4. Reflections Of You
|5. Miami Sunset|
6. On The Edge
7. In The Backseat
In general, the transfer seems reasonably clean, with sharpness, detail and shadow detail about typical for a video source.
Colour saturation was good, but I thought a bit over-saturated at times.
There are occasional aliasing and shimmering and moiré patterns, particularly around the guitar strings of Mark's acoustic guitar. I suspect that this transfer has been upconverted from NTSC to PAL. Fortunately the video source appears fairly clean and the transfer is devoid of MPEG artefacts.
Surprisingly, this DVD actually comes with several subtitle tracks. I turned on the Italian subtitle track just for fun, and was rewarded with: nothing. Well, what did I expect? All the performances are instrumental, and Mark and JK don't even utter a single squeak during the whole concert, so there was nothing to translate!
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. In cases like this, I would have preferred it if they just gave us the original stereo track as a PCM audio track for maximum quality.
The Dolby Digital track also sounded very good, but was mastered at a much higher level (the Dialog Normalization parameter has been set to +4 dB). It seemed a little bit "harder edged" than the DTS track, but suits the type of music nicely. In fact I think I may even prefer the Dolby Digital 5.1 track over the DTS track (I think I'm already starting to hear cries of "Heresy!" from home theatre enthusiasts!) The Dolby Digital 2.0 track, in comparison to the 5.1 tracks has a rather flat sound, a collapsed soundstage, and has been mastered at a much lower level.
I did not detect any audio glitches or synchronization issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
This featurette has three audio tracks but they all appear to be identical (Dolby Digital 2.0). Surprisingly, the featurette comes with a number of foreign language subtitle tracks. Given that there are quite lengthy periods in which no one talks (and the little "window" disappears), I suspect this is a short 5-10 minute interview that has been stretched through the incorporation of excerpts from the concert performance.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|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|