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I Put A Spell On You - Nina Simone [Blu-ray Audio]
Review by Gary Tooze
Producer: Universal Music Group
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Total Music time: 0:34:21.768
Disc Size: 3,762,231,720 bytes
Chapters: 12 (one per song)
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: October 30th, 2013
LPCM Audio Multiple languages 4608 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Multiple languages 3568 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3568 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio Multiple languages 2920 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 2920 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
4-page liner notes leaflet - text notes by Roger Short
Photography [Cover] – Bernard Gotfryd
A paper with a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads online
I Put A Spell on You - Nina Simone - Track Listing:
Tracks 1, 3-5, 7, 8 and 10 - Nina Simone (piano, vocals) with orchestra chorus; Rudy Stevenson (guitar); Hal Mooney arranger/conductor - 1965
Tracks 2, 6, 11 and 12 - Nina Simone (piano, vocals) with orchestra chorus Rudy Stevenson (guitar), Horace Ott (arranger/conductor) (January 1965)
Track 9 - Nina Simone (piano, vocals) Rudy Stevenson (guitar), others (unknown) 1964
Description: "I Put a Spell on You", a song originally by Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The original version gave the song an ironic theme, but Nina transformed it into a thrilling love song, complete with horns and strings. It had become one of her most well known songs. She used the title for her autobiography I Put A Spell On You (1992). The Beatles drew inspiration from the song for their song "Michelle".
Nina Simone (born Eunice Kathleen Waymon; February 21, 1933 – April 21,
2003) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil
rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to
become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles
including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
Blu-ray Audio General Comments:
Adopters of Blu-ray immediately notice that lossless audio transfer is one of the most valuable benefits of this new format. Not only surround separation but the depth, resonance and overall purity exporting capabilities of the lossless and uncompressed sound formats. DVDBeaver prefers technical comparison as analysis. Unfortunately, I don't know of a way of extracting the tech info from this CD of I Put a Spell on You to compare its merits to this Blu-ray audio. So my review will rely on my ears! I have a system with a Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player and can toggle back and forth between my Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray/SACD Player trying to notice/listen to differences. In the case of this particular album - it's immense.
From Daniel Lalla (friend): "One warning: some of the Blu-ray Audio discs I've purchased from Europe include a download code that works, but it is only at CD resolution. So if you want the full audio (usually at 24/96 resolution which is silly since Blu-ray could easily accommodate any resolution like 24/192 or even newer higher resolution formats) you need a program like DVD Audio Extractor to get the music off the disc and onto a server or computer. But it's well worth the effort."
UME are using the original master tapes transferred to uncompressed files, mastered at 24bit/96kHz. This elevates Blu-ray Audio discs to a new, more pure, level - hopefully the most accurate replication of the original studio sound - when recorded. These can be played with, or without, your video system being on (depending on your set-up!).
This Blu-ray audio is transferred at 2.0 channel. I appreciate the options. You can choose from 3 selections: Linear PCM at a whopping 4608 kbps, DTS-HD Master at 3568 kbps or Dolby TrueHD at 2920 kbps. There are differences - which I usually noted in the high-end. I've heard this album (the CD) over 30 times and now it's cool to be able to change the option and sample another format (which one can do on-the-fly from either the onscreen display - see image above - or without your video display on - directly from the Blu-ray audio remote button.) Each of these lossless choices sound strong. I stuck with the LPCM on this disc because I appreciated the depth of guitar and piano while Nina's compelling voice was exporting substantially elevated emotion. 'Wow' is right.
Does it sound superior to the CD? Definitely - Nina Simone's passionate vocals really benefit from the uncompressed transfer. I noticed the subtleties in more passive tracks (Tomorrow Is My Turn) and the bass response in her brilliantly expressive French vocals of Ne me quitte pas. The orchestral chorus blends so nicely in the background - you acknowledge its presence and it becomes another important layer in the music - simply floating throughout the room. I love so many tracks on this album and I felt it is really worth the upgrade after only the first spin.
NOTE: The file size (under 4 Gig) suggest that this format can offer multiple albums on one Blu-ray disc. Perhaps an entire artist's recorded work... and be able to play it for hours on end! I'd also like to see the price come down. Let's see how this Blu-ray audio format evolves.
My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc (like CDs) playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The only supplement is a 4-page liner notes leaflet with text notes by Roger Short and a paper with a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads online.
November 23rd, 2013
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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