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Al Di Meola: Morocco Fantasia: World Sinfonia Live Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 136 Mins.
  • Studio: Inakustik
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 24, 2012
  • List Price: $24.95

[amazon-product]B005VQRTTI[/amazon-product]

Purchase Al Di Meola: Morocco Fantasia on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:5/5]

All that needs to be said is “Al Di Meola” and this review practically writes itself. The savant-like jazz fusion guitarist and composer has been dazzling audiences for years with his skill and he has never feared an expansion of his sound. This Blu-ray release from the excellent Inakustik label captures his performance from the 2009 Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco. For this performance, Di Meola mainly puts down his electric guitar in favor of a more acoustic performance on nylon string with a backing band that blends the influences of the region, incorporating native Moroccan musicians for a world music, Mediterranean sound. Often sounding equally North African and Spanish, the music is smooth, precise, rhythmic and soulful, as Di Meola’s skill on the six-string is certainly on full display.

Track Listing:

  1. Misterio
  2. Siberiana
  3. Double Concerto
  4. Michelangelo’s 7th Child
  5. Gumbiero
  6. Turquoise
  7. Encore
  8. Egyptian Danza

Video Quality

[Rating:2/5]

The image, in 1080i/60, is a severe disappointment. This release has obviously been captured originally in standard definition and up-scaled, rather poorly, to high definition. The result is a very soft image, unnatural color reproduction and many motion artifacts, such as obvious stairstepping on guitar strings, among other things.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

As poor as the video quality is, the audio is equally as astounding. The two available tracks, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) and 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), are beautifully recorded and mixed, but I recommend staying with the 5.1 mix for this release. It sounds much more lively and has better separation, balance and fullness. Believe it or not, despite all the extra channels, that is not always the case when it comes to 5.1 musical mixes. Sometimes the sound engineers just mess it up, and often times, I recommend the stereo over the 5.1. In this case, the 5.1 is so good and the 2.0, as good as it is, just collapses too much in comparison.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The supplements offer lots of bonus performances in the form of behind the scenes footage, sound checks and rehearsals, making them very worth checking out.

The supplements:

  • Rehearsals (1.78:1; 00:07:37)
  • Soundcheck (1.78:1; 00:05:25)
  • Bazar 1
  • Bazar 2
  • Roof Solo (1.85:1; 00:02:47)
  • Mawazine Suite: Part 1-4 (1.33:1; 00:18:14)
  • Morocco (1.33:1; 00:03:09)
  • Photo Gallery (00:04:21)
  • Teaser (1.33:1; 00:03:14)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A marvelous performance from Al Di Meola and band is hindered only by the original standard definition production on this Blu-ray release from Inakustik. Nevertheless, music fans, and Di Meola fans in particular, should be sure to get this for themselves if only for the superb sound quality and high quality music.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005VQRTTI[/amazon-product]

Purchase Al Di Meola: Morocco Fantasia on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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