Klugh, Earl-The Jazz Channel Presents (2000)

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Released 9-Apr-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Meet The Artist
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 73:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (50:52) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Waymer Johnson
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Earl Klugh
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Earl Klugh


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
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
German
Italian
Swedish
Norwegian
Spanish
Portuguese
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, titles over last song

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Jazz Channel Presents: Earl Klugh is another in a series of TV specials featuring concerts by black musicians produced by BET on Jazz.

    Acoustic jazz guitarist Earl Wilbert Klugh, Jr. was born on 16 September 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Early influences include Chet Atkins, Burt Bacharach, the Beatles and Sergio Mendes. While still in his mid-teens he recorded with Yusef Lateef and George Benson. He was also member of Chick Corea's famous group Return To Forever before embarking on a solo career in the mid-1970s. Some of his early albums feature a collaboration with pianist/composer Bob James. He has had a very successful career, having released nearly 30 albums.

    Earl's musical style can best be described as "smooth" or contemporary jazz - a space that is occasionally also occupied by the likes of Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour. His music has a silky sweetness that hovers dangerously close to the muzak syrup where musicians like Kenny G belong, but fortunately he is rescued by a top notch group of seasoned musicians (unfortunately uncredited) in this concert. Unlike most jazz guitarists, Earl uses a finger-picking style that is more reminiscent of classical guitar.

    All in all, I quite enjoyed this concert, probably because I have a soft spot for smooth jazz.

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Track Listing

1. Wiggle
2. Living Inside Your Love
3. Wind and the Sea
4. Rayna
5. Midnight in San Juan
6. Take It From the Top
7. Private Affair
8. Whimpers and Promises
9. Tropical Legs
10. Mount Airy Road
11. Last Song
12. Dr. Macumba

Transfer Quality

Video

    Given that this originated as a TV special, the transfer is presented in a full frame aspect ratio and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    In general, this is a good transfer, with sharpness, detail and shadow detail slightly above average for a video source. There was little or no evidence of video noise, unlike some of the other discs in the "Jazz Channel Presents" series. There are some signs of edge enhancement but fortunately not excessively so.

    Colour saturation was good, without going into over-saturation.

    The transfer is relatively devoid of MPEG artefacts. There is occasional aliasing, shimmering and moiré patterns, particularly around Earl's guitar but I did not find these annoying. I suspect that this transfer has been upconverted from NTSC to PAL.

    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 Earl doesn't have a mike so even when he says "Thank you" we don't get to hear it.

    This disc is labelled DVD9 indicating that it is a single sided dual layer disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs at 50:52 minutes into the concert. Although it does disrupt the concert, in the grand scheme of things this is not an annoying change and it happens during a quiet spot in between songs.

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

Audio

    This DVD has three audio tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448Kb/s, DTS 5.1 (unknown bitrate) and Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224Kb/s. I switched regularly between the DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, and in addition listened briefly to the Dolby Digital 2.0 track.

    I did not detect any audio glitches or synchronization issues.

    Most of the other discs in the "Jazz Channel Presents" series have 5.1 tracks that are remixed from an original stereo master but to my surprise this disc appears to have a "native" or discrete 5.1 track as all speakers were active during the concert. The audience noises are reasonably distinctly spread across most of the speakers. The surround speakers are rather more actively engaged than one might expect from that generated by "fake" surround processing, and certain instruments - such as the tom toms just after 10:04 - appear to be aggressively mixed into the surround channels.

DTS vs Dolby Digital
    It was really hard for me to choose between the Dolby Digital and DTS tracks. Both are very good, but fall just short of reference quality by sounding a bit muffled compared to the real thing. The Dolby Digital track sounds louder than the DTS track due to Dialog Normalization being set to +4 dB. I think the Dolby Digital track sounds a little bit harder and more edgy than the DTS track, which gives a bit more "punch" to the music, but the DTS track sounds just a little bit fuller.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 track, in comparison to the 5.1 tracks, has a collapsed soundstage and has been mastered at a much lower level. I don't know why they bothered to include this on the disc.

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

Extras

    The extras are limited to foreign language subtitles and an interview featurette.

Menu

    The menus are reasonably pleasing and seems to be relatively free of MPEG artefacts, unlike some DVDs I've seen. They are in full frame format and are static.

Featurette - "Meet the Artist" (16:58)

    This is a brief interview with Earl Klugh. Earl is presented in a small "window" over a background consisting of excerpts from the concert footage.

    Earl talks about his childhood inspiration Chet Atkins, meeting Yusef Lateef and George Benson, his musical style and even his love for movies. He seems to be responding to questions posed by an anonymous interviewer, but unfortunately we don't get to find out what the questions are so sometimes his answers seem a bit disjointed.

    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. There is an audio glitch at 14:53 in the featurette.

R4 vs R1

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

    There appears to be no significant differences between the R1 and R4 versions of this disc.

Summary

    The Jazz Channel Presents: Earl Klugh is a very enjoyable and listenable concert presented on a DVD with an above average video and audio transfer. The extras are limited to a single featurette.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Wednesday, April 04, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601

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