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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Standards > Showtunes > Instrumental > Compilation > Biography > Rock > Pop > Harry Connick Jr. – In Concert On Broadway (2010/Columbia Music Blu-ray) + Louis Prima: In Person – The Wildest Performances (S’More Entertainment DVD) + Rory Gallagher – Irish Tour ‘74 (Eagle Vision

Harry Connick Jr. – In Concert On Broadway (2010/Columbia Music Blu-ray) + Louis Prima: In Person – The Wildest Performances (S’More Entertainment DVD) + Rory Gallagher – Irish Tour ‘74 (Eagle Vision Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B/C/B-     Sound: B/C/B-     Extras: C/C/B-     Concerts/Documentary: B/B-/B-

 

 

Sometimes the best music artists are the ones who have some huge commercial success, but spend most of their career on a good artistic run and that can be said for the following talents as exemplified by their latest releases.

 

We start with Harry Connick Jr. – In Concert On Broadway (2010) which features the singer/pianist performing many standards and classics, including:

 

We Are In Love
The Way You Look Tonight
Besame Mucho
The Other Hours
Nowhere With Love
How Insensitive
Come By Me
My Time Of Day/I've Never Been In Love Before
All the Way
Bayou Maharajah
Recipe For Love
Hear Me In The Harmony
Light the Way
Tug Boat
St. James Infirmary Blues
Take Her To The Mardi Gras
How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
Oh, Didn't He Ramble
Bourbon Street
Parade
Mardi Gras In New Orleans

 

Because of his acting and many articulate interviews, it is sometimes surprising to see him in his first calling doing as well as he does, but part of this is because you cannot name one hit song of his because he really has not had a huge hit or new song to call his own.  He has not peaked.  He is a fine performer who only gets better and better.  This concert shows us how.  The only extra is a fine interview with Connick, Jr. that last 26 minutes.

 

Also almost a concert but really a fine compilation is Louis Prima: In Person – The Wildest Performances hosted by his son Louis Prima, Jr. that serves as a biography of sorts with music clips that run form his rise in the 1930s to his last work and performances in the 1970s.  22 music clips (if you count extras) show the legend in action, how he stayed popular and successful, why people still love his music and how he was one of the top performers at his peak and always popular throughout his career.  Like Connick, Jr., he too performed many standards, but he also had hits like Just A Gigolo, I Ain’t Got Nobody and his legendary classic Sing, Sing, Sing.  It is a great story of people and music worth your time on the Centennial of Prima’s birth.  Extras include four bonus performances and one by his son.

 

Finally we have the first Blu-ray (after many DVDs) of a performer who left us before his time.  Rory Gallagher – Irish Tour ‘74 is therefore the highest fidelity release of the man in concert and if you are unfamiliar with his work, we have covered plenty on DVD before including the following with links:

 

Ghost Blues: The Story Of Rory Gallagher

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/10593/The+Bee+Gees+%E2%80%93+In+O

 

Live At Rockpalast: 5 Concerts 1976 - 1980

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/5809/Rory+Gallagher+%E2%80%93+Live+A

 

Definitive Montreux Collection Live (1975 – 1994)

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/3767/Rory+Gallagher+%E2%80%93+The+D

 

 

It is ironic that the older concert is the one on film and now in High Definition, but it was shot on 16mm film before film was being abandoned for lesser videotape (much the way it is now for somewhat lesser HD video) and the source holds up pretty well bringing out nuances of Gallagher you just cannot get out of any of the DVD releases.  For this show, his songs include:

 

Walk On Hot Coals

Tattoo'd Lady

Who's That Coming

A Million Miles Away

Going To My Home Town

Cradle Rock

As The Crow Flies

Hands Off

Bullfrog Blues

 

If I were going to recommend any release of his to start with, though the many DVDs have been rich in performances and rarities, this Blu-ray would now be at the top of my list.  Extras include the Rory Gallagher: Music Maker documentary by Bill Keating, In Your Town Japanese 1974 Tour home footage and feature length audio commentary track by Donal Gallagher and Gerry McAvoy.

 

 

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Connick disc looks good, but I was surprised just how clean, clear and stable it was with fine color and limited motion blur.  The result is one of the best new concert releases to date as far as playback is concerned.  The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on Gallagher looks good, though I bet the source is 1.33 X 1 16mm and I wish an option to show the 1.33 frame was included.  It might have yielded better results.  Either way, this is the best concert disc picture wise both are likely to see on Blu-ray.  The 1.33 X 1 image on Prima is of old compiled footage that is second generation or more off of analog video, kinescopes and film, so only expect so much.  The newer on camera footage is shot on video.

 

 

Sound options on Connick include the well-recorded and presented Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix (96kHz/24-bit), plus decent, uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo mix (also 96kHz/24-bit), as well as a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 640 kbps for older systems.  This is the first TrueHD mix I have encountered on a music release in a while and it sounds really good, though the format has lost big ground to DTS-MA, it is still very impressive when handled as well as it is here.  Prima has a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track that varies in quality with its old clips, but is uneven and shows the age of the sources.  Be careful of volume switching.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mixes on Gallagher also shows its age, but fortunately, the concert was recorded well enough and you can hear this when comparing that mix to the Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM 2.0 Stereo also included.  But it is nice when you can enjoy material that was archived well.

 

For more Louis Prima, try this link:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/2049/Louis+Prima+&+Keely+Smith+-+That

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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