on 31 January 2008
At last a release that will make you want to go out and buy a high definition player. This is far better than the standard DVD release! That is in terms of picture quality and sound. The several movement piece is pretty astonishing. This composition coming in at just over an hour brings together what the group has done since its inception in the late 70's and includes a pastiche of Metheny's musical aspects over this period. This long piece was written in response to our modern leanings towards short soundbites, simplicity or dumbing down in music due to the increasing commercial pressures of mass culture in the media,radio and record companies. It takes several listenings to more fully appreciate whats going in this piece and there is a lot complex things going on here, but it is accessible. The musicianship displayed is phenomenal and the whole band produce an interaction and sound that makes this a wonderfully emotive musical experience. This Blu ray version brings out the various musicians more fully soundwise and there is far more transparency to the sound so you can hear the individual instruments more. With the extras the running time may be a little on the short side and yes we could have had more of the performances of other pieces from the tour but it really does stand on its own, you kind of feel you want to have a rest and just wonder and take in what you have just heard without quickly moving onto the next thing. This is surely precisely what Metheny meant when he wrote it. Recommended
on 20 February 2009
If you're a PMG fan, or even if you appreciate great music and have just purchased a Blu Ray player this is an absolute must. The picture quality is stunning - amongst the best I've seen despite being 1080i not 1080p. Regrettably, I don't have a surround sound system so I can't comment fully on the audio side of things although on my Sony W series TV all the instruments are clear, occupying their own space in the mix whilst maintaining a suitable level of ambience, portraying the live dynamics well. I agree with reviewer 'firesidefred' in that this DVD is arguably more enjoyable than the album itself. Being such a complex piece it's a musical journey which is enhanced by the fact that you can study the mind blowing display of musicianship and technical skill in detail. How on earth the guys managed to remember this piece from start to finish is beyond me!
From a visual point of view the various camera angles are well chosen and enhance the experience rather than detracting from it which is often the case. Likewise there are no silly amateur style transitions which unfortunately hampered PMG's 'Imaginary Day Live' DVD release. I notice that a previous reviewer describes 'The Way Up' as one of Metheny's 'worst ever compositions', this is a matter of personal taste of course but it does leave me wondering why he purchased this DVD in the first place..? I have to admit that when I bought the CD it took me several attempts to really appreciate it fully but it's the type of music that the more you listen to it, the more you get out of it and it's now become one of my favourite PMG albums. Yes it would have been nice to have some of his greatest hits on there, however this in no way detracts from the DVD's merit. If you like PMG, buy it - it's as simple as that.
on 21 January 2008
This is the first and only Blu-Ray disc I have bought so far.
Picture quality: 5/5. Very good. It's almost like having the musicians in the room with you.
Sound quality: I can't comment on this, as I haven't connected it to my 5.1 system yet. Played through my Sony TV, the sound is at least OK!
Content: 3/5. This is where this disc disappoints. It's great to see Metheny on Blu-Ray, but such a shame that the recording should be of one of his worst-ever compositions. Metheny will be remembered as one of the greatest composers of the last quarter of the 20th century, so posterity deserves a good record of concert performances of his greatest pieces.
Those of us who saw the PMG perform 'The Way Up' will recall that after completing the marathon piece, the band then played many of their greatest hits -- almost as if it were a farewell tour. It is a great pity that this disc does not record a complete gig -- just the first half.
Most of the close-up shots are well chosen. I just didn't need to see the podgy, half-committed Steve Rodby reading the music that the rest of the band had bothered to memorise. Bring back Richard Bona, a far better bassist!
If ever the PMG go on tour again, you can bet that 'The Way Up' will be reduced to a 10-minute summary (if that). It is a terrible epitaph for a fantastic group.