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Autour du Blues Meets Larry Carlton & Guest Robben Ford: New Morning — The Paris Concert Blu-ray Review

  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; LPCM 5.1, Dolby 2.0
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Studio: Inakustic Gmbh
  • Blu-ray Disc Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • List Price: $24.95
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New Morning -- The Paris Concert on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall

The Performance

Video Quality

Audio Quality

Supplemental Materials

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

More screen captures (13 Total)

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG and thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance


The concert performance on this disc was captured in late 2006 at Paris’ New Morning to celebrate the club’s 25th anniversary. It brought together what is meant to be France’s finest studio musicians, Autour du Blues, with the legendary jazz-fusion guitarists from the United States, Larry Carlton and Robben Ford for a night of celebration and blues music.

I have to admit upfront that I am in no way familiar with these French studio musicians, but I certainly do know of Robben Ford, who was the catalyst for bringing together the famous fusion band Yellowjackets, and Larry Carlton, who has worked with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones. The two legendary guitarists are, unfortunately, not very present in this performance and the bulk of the work is left to the French studio musicians, Autour du Blues who, while certainly capable, hardly bring anything original to the table.

While the musicians run through some  nice covers of the traditional blues, soul, and classic rock standards such as “Rock Me Baby,” T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday,” Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me,” nothing ever rises above a level of merely being mildly entertaining.

Thankfully, as you’ll read a bit further down, the sound is excellent and there is certainly no complaint about the musicianship, it just doesn’t impart the excitement of a true celebration or real down home blues.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Night
  2. Got My Mojo Working
  3. Rock Me Baby
  4. Stormy Monday
  5. Reconsider Baby
  6. Ain’t That Particular
  7. You Gotta Move (Tu Dois Partir)
  8. Down In Mississippi
  9. Mama Talk To Your Daughter
  10. Blackjack
  11. Bad Bad Whiskey
  12. A Change Is Gonna Come
  13. She Belongs To Me

Video Quality

I am disappointed with the picture quality on this release. Originally captured in high definition, it appears here in a 1080i/60 VC-1 encoding from Inakustik. While black levels are good and deep, flesh tones natural and video noise relatively low given the lighting, the picture suffers from noticeable aliasing and very stair-stepping artifacts. There is also some slight motion judder occasionally apparent. Of course, any concert video lives and dies by the quality of its music and its sound quality, more than the video quality, so I can overlook these things somewhat, but it is still a shame to see something like this.

Audio Quality

Audio quality is typically strong on this New Morning Paris Concert series release. Both 5.1, high-resolution options, DTS-HD Master Audio and PCM, are sufficiently dynamic, well recorded and nicely balanced. They contain a nice amount of ambience in the rear channels and limit the amount of crowd noise. Bass is deep and musical, never boomy. High frequencies are just a tinge on the tizzy side, but they are not tweaked in any way. Vocals are clear and full and all instruments sound lifelike. The midrange is punchy and energetic.

Supplemental Materials

This release is hardly laden with an abundance of supplements, but there are two fine bonus performances provided, also in 1080i high definition:

  • “So Fine”
  • “Hand in Hand With the Blues”

The Definitive Word

Overall:

Autour du Blues offers some mildly entertaining Franco-blues music that may be of interest to those really hardcore blues fans out there, but it is an average outing in comparison to other New Morning releases from Inakustik. The lackluster video quality doesn’t help this one either. I’m hard pressed to recommend this release, even given the excellent sound quality.

Purchase Autour du Blues Meets Larry Carlton & Guest Robben Ford:
New Morning -- The Paris Concert on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Purchase at Amazon.ca

Purchase at Amazon.co.uk

Purchase at Amazon.de

Shop with Us for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

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