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Ella & Louis / Ella & Louis Again [Blu-ray Audio]
Review by Gary Tooze
Producer: Universal Music Group
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Total Music time: 0:54:22.842 (Ella and Louis) + 1:30:26.087 (Ella and Louis Again)
Disc Size: 16,731,823,648 bytes
Chapters: 30 (one per song)
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: October 13th, 2013
LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3313 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3313 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2354 kbps 2.0 / 96 kHz / 2354 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
16-page liner notes leaflet ( original liner notes by John MsDonough, John Sinclair, and Norman Granz)
The cover has pictures of both Verve albums
A paper with a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads online*
Ella And Louis Again
Description: Two of the most influential and popular voices
in modern music, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong form a
jazz dream team on Ella and Louis. A
once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece, their distinctive vocals
meld seamlessly together along with Armstrong's exceptional
trumpet playing and the first-rate accompaniment of pianist
Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and
drummer Buddy Rich. This recording has become the touchstone
and template for jazz vocal duets.
- Norman Granz from the original liner notes
NOTE: BOTH albums are foundon this one Blu-ray audio disc.
*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."
Ella and Louis is a 1956 studio album by Ella Fitzgerald and
Louis Armstrong, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet. Having
previously collaborated in the late 1940s for the Decca label, this was
the first of three albums that Fitzgerald and Armstrong were to record
together for Verve Records. Norman Granz, the founder of the Verve
label, selected eleven ballads for Fitzgerald and Armstrong, mainly
played in a slow or moderate tempo.
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 the Hybrid SACDs of Ella / Louis and Ella and Louis Again (that I own) 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. Both sound great the BD audio is superior in a few important areas!
This was recorded in July-August of 1957. 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. While this can be played without, your video system being on I did find some difficulty moving back from the second Ella and Louis Again album to the next using the remote and preferred the video screen on (it just made it less complicated) but the BD audio plays tracks 1 thru 30 consecutively without issue.
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 3313 kbps or Dolby TrueHD at 2354 kbps. Discerning music fans may note differences. I've settled on the Linear PCM for the trumpets and piano. I found this incredibly impressive, but 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.)
Does it sound superior to the SACD? On my system this was certainly noticeable to my ears - in the incredible crispness of Ella's vocals as well as the depth of Peterson's piano, Ray Brown's bass and Armstrong's trumpet. This album absolutely knocked my socks off in this uncompressed, pure, format. I played it for two friends who were equally as blown away. Absolutely brilliant!
NOTE: The file size (16 Gig) is moving in the direction I was hoping - offering multiple albums on one Blu-ray disc since it is surely capable. They could have included Porgy and Bess since all three were released as The Complete Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong by Verve. Perhaps this is just the beginning! Let's see how this Blu-ray audio format evolves. I'm very excited about the capabilities!
My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc (like CDs) playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
The only supplement is a 16-page liner notes leaflet with liner notes by John MsDonough, John Sinclair, and Norman Granz. It also has the paper for a code to access the Blu-ray disc digital downloads but be aware of Daniel's experience (above) who found them only CD-quality (not 96 kHz / 24-bit).
November 30th, 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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