This is a disc that allows you to enjoy the music in various forms and different types of sounds. The disc is two-sided: one DVD video and the other DVD Audio. The DVD video side presents the concert in video (originally shot in HD) with a DTS 5.1 “stage” mix and a Dolby 5.1 “audience” mix. It also contains a 96/24 PCM soundtrack with still pictures. There is a rehearsal video, session photos and technical notes about band members, equipment used, recording types, plus video and audio setup tracks. One song can be played in high definition on a WMA9-equipped computer. All the AIXs are the best-documented discs I have seen. The flip side has a standard MLP 5.1 DVD-Audio of the concert with both a stage and an audience mix. This is a good disc to compare the differences in recording approaches.
The music is rhythm-driven jazz and the band members wrote the songs. Philips was the drummer for Toto, and spurs the quintet on with some intricate rhythms. Pleasant listening throughout. The video quality of the DVD-video is very good, especially considering the stage lighting that was used. The sound was about what I expected: the 96/24 PCM stereo is the one to listen to for the best sound. Next best to enjoy is the DTS 5.1 with a good quality video. (I wish they had made the audience mix the DTS instead of the stage mix.) The next best would be the MLP 5.1 audience mix. The MLP stage mix is a little too heavy in the surrounds for my tastes, which I found a bit distracting. I would describe the sound as somewhat laid back. I would have preferred a little more bite – it sounded slightly soft and compressed. The sound with the video is quite a bit better than most DVD sound. My petty quibbles aside, this is an above-average recording and I can easily see myself sitting back and relaxing to this disc – whether on the hi-res audio-only side or the DTS video side. There are a couple of tracks you can listen to at their web site www.aixrecords.com to see if you like the music on this album.
Tracks: 1. Blind-Sided 2. Bless Them Rains 3. Pall’s Mall 4. New Resolution 5. Sting Like a Bee 6. Loco Moco 7. Wet Jackson
– Clay Swartz