Melba Moore-A Night in St. Lucia (2001)
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Lukkee Chong|
|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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In the ever-pressing desire to broaden my musical taste, I decided to pick up a jazz title to review and so thought I'd sample this performance from Melba Moore. It was filmed in 2001 as part of the St. Lucia Jazz and Blues Festival ten year anniversary at the Hyatt Hotel in St. Lucia (somewhere in the Caribbean if I remember rightly).
Melba Moore is an accomplished artist who has had success in music, television, film, and theatre (winning a Tony award for the Broadway musical Purlie). She is a consummate performer, with an absolutely amazing voice (just listen to her hit and hold the high notes) and plenty of stage persona and charisma to boot. This is quite a personal performance, with some nice chat and banter with the audience between many of the songs. This performance is a bit of a tribute to many of the great jazz performers over the years, and includes songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Irving Berlin, and the stage musical Hair (this is the musical that provided Moore with her big break).
This is a somewhat brief performance, that only runs for a little over an hour (69:45 minutes). The following songs are performed;
|1. Lift Every Voice & Sing|
2. Blue Skies
3. Don't Mean A Thing
4. Stormy Weather
5. Skazzin' Number
6. Tisket A Tasket
7. Mister Paganini
|8. Night In Tunisia|
9. My Guy
10. Too Many Fish In The Sea
11. Don't Mess With Bill
14. Lean On Me
After being suitably impressed with the last couple of concert DVDs that I have reviewed, I must say that I was a little disappointed with this transfer. To be truthful, the only real problems are a couple of dodgy camera shots that are a little out-of-focus, and the reliance for almost the entire show on blue and red lighting. It is the latter problem, though, which sees me remove marks for the video quality on offer.
The video is in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This is the same as originally filmed. Obviously 16x9 enhancement is not present.
The transfer is mostly sharp and detailed throughout. A couple of times the focus is a bit off, but this is obviously related to the source material. Shadow detail is not a problem. There is also very little (if any) grain to contend with and there is no low level noise.
The colours were the biggest problem area. The stage background is bathed in an intense deep blue light and the main lighting colour used on the performers is a deep intense red - a recipe for disaster you might think, and a pretty good recipe it is, making for some distracting oversaturation and colour bleed between the performers and the backgrounds, especially on Melba Moore herself. This is at its worst early on in the performance and progressively gets better. The worst example is very early between 1:30 and 1:45.
No MPEG artefacts are present. Other artefacts are also kept to a minimum, though there is a very minor shimmer that appears often on the microphone that Melba Moore uses. It is not overly distracting.
There are no subtitles available on this disc.
The disc is presented as a single layered disc, so therefore there is no layer change to navigate.
Despite some reservations with the video, there are no such problems or concerns with the audio. We are spoilt for luxury in this department, with a total of three audio tracks, including a full bitrate DTS track and Dolby Digital 5.1 track. These two are also joined by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to both the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and the DTS track. I only sampled briefly the rather nondescript Dolby Digital 2.0 track. There is really nothing to separate either of the 5.1 tracks, though I'd probably give the nod to the DTS track over the Dolby Digital offering as it offers slightly cleaner and brighter vocals.
The lyrics are clear with no audio sync problems.
The music is jazz, with a pianist, bassist, and drummer joining Melba Moore on-stage to provide ample rhythm and beat.
The surround channels receive a reasonable amount of use throughout, though it is quite understated and is barely noticeable for much of the show. Not only do the audience sounds come through but a nice fill-in of vocals and instrument can also be heard.
The subwoofer doesn't have much to do, with only a limited amount of lower range audio in the soundtracks.
|Surround Channel Use|
A ten minute interview segment with Melba Moore filmed either just before or just after the concert. She briefly discusses her career, what her early influences were and how she got her big break. She takes the opportunity to discuss her religion and beliefs throughout. Presented full screen 1.33:1, with audio provided by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Total running time is 10:14 minutes.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 disc has also just been released and is exactly the same as the local product. We certainly have to favour the Region 4 title on price considerations.
Melba Moore-L:ive! A Night In St. Lucia is an all-too-brief performance that is over far too quickly. The quality of the performance is excellent, with Melba Moore obviously a lady who is confident and relaxed in going about her craft. There is a fair amount of banter and chatting with the audience, which makes for a cosy and personal performance.
The video is somewhat average, with some source focus problems, and some oversaturation and halo effect with the colours.
The audio suffers no such dilemmas with a choice of a full bitrate Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack or a full bitrate DTS 5.1 soundtrack. Both are excellent.
The extra (note the singular) is somewhat limited, though still worth a look.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|