Piano, Bass and Drums – [TrackList follows] AIX Records multichannel DVD-Audio & DVD-Video (16:9) – AIX 80009 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:
(Patrice Rushen, piano/ Darek Oleszkiewicz, bass/ Ndugu Chancler, drums)
This has a 2002 date on it so not sure why we’ve received it just now, but the fact that it includes a DVD-A side on a double-sided disc rather dates it. Of course the DVD-A side has no video of the piano trio, which is only on the DVD-Video side. Both use 96K/24-bit 5.1-channel mixes, and both offer AIX’s usual options of either the closeup “stage” mix or the further-back “audience” mix. There are both DTS 5.1 and Dolby 5.1 audio tracks on the video side. Since this is not a Blu-ray with a lossless 5.1 audio track on that side, I suppose the DVD-A side would be somewhat superior sonically, but I failed to notice much difference. On the video you can select different camera angles if you wish, the disc has the usual extras for setting up your gear, bios of the performers, a photo gallery, and a section on “How to Use This Disc.”
This is some very competent jazz piano trio material. Patrice Rushen is not only a jazz pianist, but also a composer, record producer, songwriter, music director and vocalist, who came to fame following an appearance at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival. She received a Grammy nomination in the past for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Her genres include not just straight-ahead jazz but also soul, jazz-funk, urban, soft rock, pop and new wave. In recent years she has played in the touring bands for both Lee Ritenour and Wayne Shorter.
Rushen’s early background in classical piano plus her extremely versatile stance in music assures plenty of interest and variety in the ten tracks on this video. While many of the tunes are her originals, my personal favorites were the familiar “Night in Tunisia” and Monk’s “I Mean You,” which closes out the program. Sonics, as always with AIX, are state of the art.
Mr. P.C., Red Clay, Ocean Song, Like a Dream, Arrival, Shortie’s Portion, Simple Essence, Night in Tunisia, Variance, I Mean You
If any recording is essential to the genre, this is it.