DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Grant Geissman Quintet – There and Back Again (2004)

A somewhat bland offering from AIX.

Published on May 28, 2013

Grant Geissman Quintet – There and Back Again, Blu-ray (2004)

Performers: Grant Geissman, guitars; Gordon Goodwin, sax; Jim Cox, piano & electric piano; Jimmy Johnson, electric bass; Greg Bissonette, drums
TrackList: Slightly Out Of Town, The 53rd Calypso, There and Back Again, Ballad To The Cosmic Wind, L.A. Blues, Blowin Out the Orbit Floor,The Sirens of Titan, Good Stuff, Outre, The Hipso Calypso 
Studio: AIX Records DVD/DVD-A 80027, 64:04 [Distributed by Naxos] [10/26/04] 
Video: 4:3, multi-image, varies
Audio: English DTS 5.1, DD 5.1, DD 2.0, select stage or audience mixes
Extras: Test tone setup, How to use, other pages
Rating: ** 

There and Back Again is a DVD/DVD-A release from AIX records. It is a jazz quintet in a variety of sound formats letting you choose between an on-stage mix or an audience mix. Like most AIX releases, it contains a setup section where you can check your channel routing. [Why we are just receiving this older release now I have no idea. By now hardly anyone is releasing DVD-A anymore...Ed.]

Searching the menus I found a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, a DTS 5.1 mix, and a 2 channel Dolby Digital track. The DTS track is the stage mix, and I preferred that option. I can’t figure out why the mix of formats. There should be a stage mix in Dolby and DTS. Same for the audience mix.

The music is competent enough, and the recording is up to the usual very high AIX audio standards. But there are some issues. The video portion that lets you watch the performance is not in a full size window and not of the best quality, even for standard definition.

The other issue is the content itself. While certainly a nice well-recorded session, I found myself uninterested as the tracks slid by. AIX needs to be careful to not slip into the fate of Command Records in the sixties, which produced extremely well-recorded music that had little emotional content. Enoch Light, the leader of Command Records was a classically trained musician who became infatuated with the recordings and lost sight of the quality of the musical content. If you wanted ping-pong percussion, Command was your label.

There is noting really wrong with this disc, there just doesn’t seem to be anything really right about it either. AIX has produced some wonderful discs, done 3D and Blu-ray, and pushes the state of the art for realistic recordings.

There is none of that here. Just some well-played and well-recorded jazz; nothing more than that. I wanted more from this disc. I don’t think this is a compelling offering.  All tracks played properly on my Oppo BDP-103.

—Mel Martin




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