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Neil Cowley Trio: Live at Montreux 2012 Blu-ray Review

neil-cowley-trio-live-at-montreux-2012-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz/24-bit), LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Subtitles Color: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 30, 2013
  • List Price: $19.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Performance

[Rating:5/5]

Neil-Cowley-Trio-Live-at-Montreux-2012-BD_01

Pianist Neil Cowley has been making his name as a session player for the likes of Brand New Heavies, Zero 7, and on both of Adele’s bestselling albums 19 and 21. Jazz is his true passion, however, and with his jazz ensemble, Neil Cowley Trio, Cowley has managed to fuze an intricate sound, walking that fine line of syncopated jazz rhythms, tender balladic interludes, and a rock whimsy that can appeal to broader audiences. His form of fusion may make him a sort of second coming of Dave Brubeck or others of his ilk, but one thing is certain, and that is Cowley is serious about his jazz. Listen to the gorgeous ballad “Box Lily”, an homage to his prematurely born daughter, or the clockwork rhythms of “Rooster Was a Witness”, and one knows that Cowley is no fly by night pretender.

This set from the 2012 Montreux Jazz festival was recorded on July 11 and features 15 tracks, three of them not available on CD, and each one is a masterful display of musicianship.

Track listing:

  1. Lament
  2. Rooster Was A Witness
  3. Distance By Clockwork
  4. Slims
  5. Hug The Greyhound
  6. Kenny Two Steps*
  7. Box Lily
  8. How Do We Catch Up
  9. Hope Machine
  10. Meyer
  11. Skies Are Rare*
  12. La Porte*
  13. Fable
  14. The Face Of Mount Molehill
  15. She Eats Flies

* Not on CD format

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Neil-Cowley-Trio-Live-at-Montreux-2012-BD_02

This original HD production, offered in a 1080i/60 AVC encodement, is a bit soft and filled with low-level video noise, mostly due to the dim lighting. There is also some banding evident. Although it isn’t the best presentation I’ve seen, for a concert disc, it is more than adequate, especially given the high quality of the music and audio.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Neil-Cowley-Trio-Live-at-Montreux-2012-BD_03

This disc comes with a fantastic high resolution 96kHz/24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix that is evenly balanced, dynamic, has a good amount of natural ambience, and punchy lows. I’ve only marked it down a notch here because, the LPCM 2.0 track, though equally well mixed, is only offered in 48kHz/16-bit, and it has an obvious drop-off in sound quality.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

Neil-Cowley-Trio-Live-at-Montreux-2012-BD_04

Nothing here besides the liner notes in the booklet.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Neil-Cowley-Trio-Live-at-Montreux-2012-BD_05

Before sitting down to review this disc from Eagle Rock, I’d honestly never heard the Neil Cowley Trio, but now I am a convert to Cowley’s brand of jazz, presented here in a rich high-res audio mix and high definition video presentation on Blu-ray. This is one jazz lovers will find themselves returning to frequently.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00BNKMRJ8[/amazon-product]

Purchase Neil Cowley Trio: Live at Montreux 2012 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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Neil-Cowley-Trio-Live-at-Montreux-2012-BD_13

[amazon-product]B00BNKMRJ8[/amazon-product]

Purchase Neil Cowley Trio: Live at Montreux 2012 on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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