1. Enter the Heart - 5:40
2. Veracruz Express - 3:33
3. Flamenco Wind - 8:19
4. San Antonio Sunset - 4:56 5. Bag Jam - 3:40
6. Mediterana - 4:48
7. Silver Raine - 6:25
8. Blue Lotus - 11:13
9. Sedona Sunrise - 4:41
10. Avenida Concha Espina - 5:18
SOUND: Esteban's album "Enter the Heart" is presented in 20bit DTS 5.1 audio and 48khz 5.1 DVD-Audio (as well as Dolby 2.0 for those who have access to neither surround format) . A Spanish guitar player that is incredibly talented, Esteban graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a major in classical guitar and studied with guitar legend Andres Segova in Europe for five years. Esteban is one of a select few guitarists who is endorsed by Segova. The music itself has a definite Latin flavor, with incredible guitar playing and terrific backing musicians.
Before discussing what the majority of the album sounds like, there is an interesting tidbit about two songs in particular; songs 7 and 10 ("Silver Raine" and "Avenida Concha Espina") are solo recordings of just Estiban and his guitar at his home. Recorded with new surround microphone techniques developed by OCI records, seven microphones were used to capture the musician playing and develop a realistic surround-sound atmosphere to make the viewer feel as if they were in the same room, listening along and it's really quite a successful job as the surrounds offer nice ambience and re-inforcement of the music in the front.
The rest of the album is tastefully mixed, but playful and occasionally takes some risks that come through well. The guitar is mainly in the front speakers, but there are some guitar parts that get placed in the surrounds and are occasionally joined by other instruments, like the trumpet solos on "Flamenco Wind". There are no vocals on this record, so where they're placed is, of course, not a concern. Audio quality for the music itself sounded uniformly superb, with every note played on the guitar coming through distinctly and clearly, with a full, rich and crisp sound that was comfortable and pleasant to listen to.
Like all of the other releases that I have upgraded to from DTS CDs to DVD-Audio editions, the DVD-Audio edition suprisingly improves noticably upon already terrific sound quality. The DVD-Audio 5.1 presentation sounded noticably more dynamic, with richer, warmer sound quality that was quite apparent from the begining. The audio in the DTS version seemed more speaker-specific, while the DVD-Audio version presented a more seamless surround-sound experience; the music almost seemed to flow outwards between the speakers. Esteban's wonderful guitar work also seemed to be reproduced more convincingly as the playing sounded more natural and cleanly rendered - a definite step further than the DTS took in bringing that "you-are-there" sound. Although the DTS 5.1 presentation is certainly quite good, the DVD-Audio version presented a preferable and more realistic experience.
Extras: A video of Estban playing "Sedona Sunrise" and "Mediterana" live (DTS 5.1); credits.
Final Thoughts: If you enjoy terrific guitar playing with a Latin flair, then "Enter The Heart" is right up your alley - the DVD-Audio presents both the DTS 5.1 presentation and an even better sounding DVD-A version. Recommended.