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Wallace Roney: Stand Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 (96kHz/24-bit); Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (Audience Mix/Stage Mix) (96kHz/24-bit); Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run Time: 75 Mins.
  • Studio: AIX Records
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • List Price: $34.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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:4.5/5]

Today’s world of jazz is as varied as that of pop music with so many genres coexisting peacefully: mainstream traditional, bebop, cool, Latin, swing, to name a few. Trumpeter Wallace Roney, the bandleader in Stand can trace his musical lineage back to some pretty awesome forebears-Miles Davis, Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie-only three of the greatest jazz horn players of the last century. From the start of “Stargazer,” a Roney original, you hear shades of Miles and his all-star fusion group that brought us “Bitches Brew” four decades ago.  The remaining seven numbers are in a similar post-bop mode, including a DJ disc “scratcher” that frequently gets into the action. Roney is ably supported by brother Antoine (sax/bass clarinet), Robert Irving (keyboards), Clarence Seay (bass), Eric Allen (drums), and Val Jeanty (turntables).  The tight arrangements and exchanges in this group stem from their lengthy associations and familiarity with each other’s playing. AIX Records has captured this 2007 concert in high-definition sound and video recording.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The studio set has muted lighting appropriate to that of your typical jazz lounge or club.  Camera work moves briskly among the players and maintains the pulse of this upbeat music.  The picture is a tad on the soft side but instrumental details are nicely captured on the close up shots. Band leader Wallace Roney gets frequent face shots and seems completely enveloped in his marvelous sounds and those of his colleagues.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Small jazz ensembles present numerous inner voices that need to be heard to achieve the full effect of the music. There are several soundtrack options that include “stage” and “audience” Dolby TrueHD modes as well as more conventional Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM Stereo. While I am usually a fan of the “audience” mode, the small ensemble lends itself perfectly to the immersive “stage” version, giving a truly impressive intimacy to the program.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

AIX Records gives us liner notes, biopics of the players, a discography and a brief behind the scenes takes of rehearsal and taping.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Jazz is America’s unique music and has infused so many musical genres that have followed, including rhythm and blues, the predecessor of rock ‘n roll.  As the jazz story continued, the music has evolved and this BD treats us to some of the best current proponents of the bebop movement, one that reinvigorated this genre following World War II. While five of the eight selections presented here are Wallace Roney originals, I was most taken by the ensemble’s reworking of classic pop tunes by Al Green (“Let’s Stay Together”), Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong (“Just My Imagination”), and the title number by Sylvester Stewart, remember Sly and the Family Stone(?)(“Stand”).  For those new to this reworking of mainstream songs, start with “Just My Imagination,” and if the seductive sounds of the Roney remake do not get straight to your heart, you may need to see your cardiologist.   From my perspective, genius is not simply hawking one’s own wares but taking those that have been previously sold and making them seem freshly minted. The Wallace Roney band does exactly that, giving truth to the old axiom that everything old is new again. Well done, WR, and keep the hits coming.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Wallace Roney: Stand on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B008P76Y1Y[/amazon-product]

Purchase Wallace Roney: Stand on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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