Seems like Bobby Short has been around forever and it is only appropriate that he should be one of the first to record a spankin’ new disc in one of the new surround formats, in this case, DVD-audio. Piano is the simple title for this simply elegant collection of standards produced by John Snyder, who has expertly captured the rich textures of Short’s minimalist combo. With the surround mix, you really feel like you are in the middle of things: piano up front, floating right there, vocals likewise-in your face-drums panned hard right and bass hard left. So, is this a good thing? Though I really enjoy the basic, very natural sound of this recording, the mix puts the listener in a very unnatural position-say, right on the bench with Short, and, in my opinion, too close to the action. I like a little distance between my ears and the stage. On the other hand, the producers have offered a stereo mix that overcomes this pet peeve of mine. In addition, there are other bonuses offered by this most resourceful of all the DVD-audio discs auditioned this go-round. Insert the disc into a properly outfitted computer (my Mac G4 worked great) and you’ll find little goodies like printable lead sheets for many of the tunes, photos of the band, videos and links to related Web sites-talk about your lagniappe! Truth be told, no matter where I’m sitting, Short is a delight!