Don't know how many jazz fans there are on this thread, but the new Blu-ray release of Diana Krall Live in Paris is great. I've had the DVD for a long time and was miffed that her Rio concert made it to Blu-ray a while ago but not Paris.
But they didn't forget Paris (sorry, couldn't resist). Although the original was shot in standard definition, they've managed to upscale it impressivly for Blu-ray. I bought the Blu-ray as a gamble - it's the first disk I've seen labeled on its cover "SD Blu-ray" - but it was a gamble that paid off.
I just watched it and fell in love with that concert all over again. Diana Krall's piano playing and Anthony Wilson's guitar solos are stellar - and the excitement of the band members about the quality of each others' playing is written on their faces. The core quartet (piano, bass, drums, and guitar) was put together for the trip to Paris and had only been playing togther for 4 days - but became her regular group for her next several records (and on the Rio disk). It's a shame that she's been pigeon-holed as a singer, since she's a great jazz pianist, with very inventive solos, and accompanies her sideman's solos - which she's very generous about letting last several choruses - very tastefully.
The Blu-ray's image quality is several steps up from the DVD - and I'm watching it projected 9 1/2 feet wide. It's hard to believe that this is an upscaling job, since my Oppo BDP-93 and Panasonic PT-AE2000U have always upscaled to 1080 well, but not like this. I didn't realize how much sharper this was until I put the DVD in afterwards. They must have done this sharpening frame-by-frame to avoid artifacts.
Sure, the hand-held home movie footage around Paris looks grainy either way (if you want nice travel footage, stay with the Rio disk's scenic footage shot in HD), but the concert closeups of faces and instruments on the Blu-ray are satisfyingly sharp, while the same shots on the DVD look obviously soft by comparison. In fact, the footage of the other musicians looks better than on the Rio disk.
The sound is clearer than the DVD as well. The Blu-ray's DTS 5.1 Master Audio track has more high-end and dynamic range even than the DTS 5.1 track on the DVD. (There's also an LPCM stereo track.)
If you like jazz, get this disk!
Last edited by Philnick; 01-13-2015 at 08:07 PM.