Mo', Keb'-Sessions at West 54th (2000) (NTSC)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Animation
Featurette-Bonus Interview Footage
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||69:22 (Case: 68)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Jim Gable|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Keb' Mo' is a two time Grammy winner who grew up in Compton, Los Angeles and now resides in New Orleans. He has released five albums, all to critical acclaim, with his last album The Door released in October 2000. This live session was recorded shortly after the release of his second album, Just Like You.
Unfortunately, the running time of this programme is only just over one hour, however in that time the viewer is presented with an excellent performance covering tracks from his first two albums. If you are unaware of Keb' Mo's work but are a fan of blues, then have no hesitation in purchasing this disc. If you would like to hear some of his work before picking up the disc you can sample his work at www.kebmo.com in both Real Audio and Windows Media formats.
Before viewing this disc, I was unaware of the PBS show Sessions at West 54th but the quality of the performance presented here prompted me to investigate further. It appears that this show has now finished airing in the US but during its history, they presented work from a diverse range of artists from around the world. Further information about the series, including a list of guest performers, can be found at www.sessionsatwest54th.com.
The full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and therefore is not anamorphically enhanced. Like many of Sony Music's discs the video is presented in NTSC.
The majority of the transfer is extremely sharp and shows no low level noise. Shadow detail is excellent with high levels of detail visible during shots of the darkly lit audience. Unfortunately, during a number of chapters the quality of the transfer drops significantly. During these periods, a very soft picture is presented with some low level noise and poor shadow detail. These sections are still better than you would expect from VHS, but only just. The exact reason for this drop in quality is unclear as the performance was initially digitally recorded and the sections showing problems are encoded at the same bitrate as the rest of the transfer. The sections with poor detail cover Chapters 8, 10, 11, and 14 and may be the original four tracks aired on PBS. Possibly, the master recording was unavailable for this section of the performance.
Colours are vibrant and accurately produced throughout the transfer.
No MPEG artefacts were visible during the transfer.
Aliasing is present throughout the performance but is only slightly distracting. The occurrence of aliasing is increased due to the lighting used for the performance. The set is lit from directly above, creating high contrast and very strong shadow definitions on players and instruments. In addition to the lighting, the stage is surrounded with large mesh panels that constantly exhibit aliasing.
As the performance was originally digitally recorded on video, no film artefacts are present during the transfer.
A single set of English subtitles is presented on the disc which covers both the lyrics as well as the short conversations between songs. These were accurate at all times. One problem with the subtitles is that the menu option to turn them off does not work, but they can be easily removed via the subtitle button on your remote.
Two audio tracks are present on the disc, a Linear PCM track and a Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kb/s track. The PCM track has slightly more definition and a better soundstage than the Dolby Digital track and is the default track. Both audio selections may be changed via a menu selection or the remote at any stage to allow easy comparison.
The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand throughout the performance.
At no stage were any dropouts in the audio present and audio sync was always accurate.
The surround channels in the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix are used primarily for audience applause as the mix is concentrated on the front channels. This is very effective and preferred to mixes where instruments artificially move around the soundstage.
The subwoofer was used throughout the performance for bass guitar and drums but is never overpowering and does not draw attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Front left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)|
|Speakers||Front left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259|