One of my first DVD-A's from a few years ago, and still easily one of my favorites. Having bought one of the first copies when this was released, mine is autographed by Juber. Not that it is necessarily a collectors item, but a nice touch nonetheless.
As an acoustic fingerstyle guitar enthusiast, I have been an LJ fan for years. One of the finest Beatles solo guitar arrangers/stylists around, LJ was for those unaware, a former Wings (Back To The Egg) member and a standout player. This disc is chock full of extras as noted on the image scan above - the video content is fairly static, unless of course like me, you are trying to steal tricks and fingerings, but video or not, a must have for any multi channel fan.
Goodness, probably the most impressive disc, sonically, in my collection. The high-end on "Mosaic" - you'll know the percussion part when you hear it - is just about as perfect as you can get. That's how high freqs should sound like.
I actually heard a cut on this album - forgot which one - in Mark Waldrep's own studio way back just before the DVD-A came out, so I feel mighty privileged. And for those of you that don't know - he records and mixes with no EQ and no dynamic range processing (compression, limiting, etc.). Just brings those faders up and pans the stuff around the listening space. It's all in the balance of instruments, the performances, and the engineering. Amazing.
I also can't stress enough the quality of the performances. "Strawberry Fields Forever" on solo acoustic guitar is just heavenly. Left me speechless.
Out of all the surround discs I own; dts, ac3, dualdisc, sacd, and dvd-audio...this is my favorite. As Felix said, Strawberry Fields Forever with the acoustic guitar just sounds out of this world. The entire disc is superb. Sonics, extras galore, surround set-up help, multiple mixes...the list goes on. This is what I play at Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends. I believe I'm over 100 albums in my surround collection and this one is my favorite.
The DVD-A side contains the "Stage" mix on this AIX disc. It's interesting that the DTS track is also the Stage mix, and the "Audience" mix is relegated to Dolby Digital -- so if you prefer the Audience mix you'd better have pewter ears like mine.
I know this disc is called "Guitar Noir" and that Juber's guitar playing sounds fantastic -- it's been raved about here and elsewhere -- but I'm as taken with the percussion as the guitar work. The video provides even more reason to appreciate it, as you can watch the percussionist (Steve Forman) pulling out something new from his assortment of wacky looking devices every so often and shaking or striking them to make another entirely appropriate sound. If this guy were on any other AIX discs, I'd buy 'em just to enjoy his antics -- he's great. The bassist is no slouch either.
Speaking of video, I like the video here better than on some of the other AIX discs with small groups of performers. You get lots of cool angles of Juber playing the guitar, not just a couple of static ones.
I can't choose favorite tracks, they're all great for different reasons.
It's just three acoustic musicians and they're not going to be flying around your speakers Santana-style at AIX. I think Guitar Noir's Stage mix is really great and the recording has more of a "you are there" sound than any other I can think of.
I picked this up a couple months ago, and I am really glad I did. An easy 10. The fidelity is stunning! The mix (stage mix) is very good. Not gimmicky in any way, which is to say there aren't sounds swirling around your head. Instead, the mix puts in you right on stage, in the middle of these fantastic musicians. The sound quality is so good you really do feel like you are there with them.
I haven't listened to the Dulby Audience mix, and I doubt I ever will. If I want an audience style listening experience, I will just listen to the hi-res stereo mix.
I also have not yet watched all of the performance video, but I look forward to doing that in the future.
The music is very easy to enjoy too. I don't generally get too excited for the acoustic jazz genre, but this sounds so fantastic that I really enjoy listening to it.
Superb disc. The performances and fidelity are stellar. You really feel that you're in the room with these gifted musicians. No unnecessary EQ, compression or reverb - just pure music. The wealth of extras is quite impressive. This is the first AIX Records disc I've purchased. I'll definitely check out more of their catalogue. 10
Mario Martinez of PlayClassics always does first class perfectionist recordings, I own about 6 of them now. One heck of a nice guy too! You'll never be disappointed with the sound quality or the musicians performance.. Enjoy!