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Matt Rowe's MusicTAP

-Established 1997-

page added: 12/14/11

Blu-ray Review
Blu-ray Disc review by Barrie Maxwell of The Digital Bits

Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy (Blu-ray Disc)

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Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy
2011 (2011) - Terwilliker Ltd. (Image Entertainment)
Released on Blu-ray Disc on December 6th, 2011
Also available on DVD


Program Rating: A
Video (1-20): 17
Audio (1-20): 18.5
Extras: C

Michael Feinstein is a contemporary American singer and pianist who focuses on the music of the Great American Songbook. He has recorded a number of albums and also tours extensively. He's also been responsible for a 3-hour set of programs on the Songbook that's been broadcast on PBS.

Recently he performed at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana with the show focusing on the music popularized by Frank Sinatra as well as numbers by other singers inspired by Sinatra's example - hence the "Sinatra Legacy" title. Backed by a 32-piece orchestra, Feinstein demonstrates an impressive grasp of the music - music that he obviously loves and understands, and his enthusiasm communicates clearly why the songs of the Great American Songbook are timeless in their appeal to anyone who really appreciates fine music that is destined to be fresh forever. Feinstein has his own contemporaries in the likes of Harry Connick, Michael Buble, and others, but none convey the same degree of power, phrasing, and joy of performing the music that come across so strongly in Feinstein's efforts.

Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy has been released on Blu-ray by Image Entertainment and the results are spectacular. The 86-minute live performance includes the following songs: "Once in a Lifetime", "I Thought About You", "Fly Me to the Moon", "Put on a Happy Face", "So in Love", "There'll Be Some Changes Made", "Begin the Beguine", "Brazil", "For Once in My Life", "Maybe This Time", and "New York, New York". The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (an uncompressed PCM stereo track is also available) clearly conveys both the power of Feinstein's voice, but also his precise enunciation of the lyrics. A fine mixing job of Feinstein's voice and the impressive backing orchestra is evident in the exact balance that is always evident between the two. The vocals and occasional instrumental solos are strongly rooted in the centre channel and front surrounds with a clear but mainly subtle and never gimmicky immersive experience conveyed by the backing orchestra. As for the program video, the 1.78:1 Blu-ray image is all one might expect from a recently-shot program. Image cleanliness, sharpness, detail, and colour vibrancy and accuracy are all strong. Supplements include a bonus track ("Sway"), a featurette on the construction of the Palladium, and a Palladium community video.

In the interest of full disclosure, I acknowledge my personal love of this type of music. I host a weekly live radio show on my local community radio station that focuses on the Great American Songbook as performed by the great vocal artists of the mid-20th century, and I guarantee that if such music appeals to you, you'll be very satisfied with this Blu-ray release. It conveys entertainment with a capital "E". Highly recommended.

Barrie Maxwell
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