Diana Krall - Live in Paris
DVD + DVD Audio
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Recorded live at the Paris Olympia on December 1, 2001, Krall's classic style blends equal parts artistic vision, hard work and determination. The British Columbia native began playing piano at the age of four and now has five stunning albums behind her. She made her debut with the critically acclaimed Only Trust Your Heart and the album topped the Billboard jazz charts for the most of 1998, earning Krall a Grammy nomination. She went on to win a Best Jazz Vocal Performance Grammy for 1999's platinum-selling When I Look in Your Eyes and became the first jazz artist in 25 years to be nominated in the Album of the Year category.
Does it get any better than this? Canadian torch singer and pianist Diana Krall is in perfect form in this two-hour Paris concert, recorded in December 2001 shortly after the release of her CD The Look of Love. In her band, guitarist Anthony Wilson and bassist John Clayton get the lion's share of attention, but the entire ensemble (including lush strings from the Paris Symphony Orchestra) provides flawless support for Krall, whose skill on a Steinway is as impressive as her smoky interpretations of vintage standards and ballads. Inspired by guest conductor-arranger Claus Ogerman, Krall can surprise with subtleties (like a delicious hint of the Beatles' "Day Tripper" in her closing of "All or Nothing"), or glide into solos with a master's flair. Matching the music beat for beat, the camera coverage and editing are intimate without being obtrusive, making this a bit of jazz heaven here on earth. --Jeff Shannon
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$64.49 listing that Amazon wants for a new one. The camera work is about as good as could be, in my opinion. I especially like the close-ups of
her hands as she tinkles the ivories.
The sound is superb. Just listening with TV is amazing --- I can only imagine with an audiophile home system.
The supporting cast is very impressive. Anthony Wilson on guitar gets several extended solos, and he is excellent. In fact, the concert would have been remarkable if the lineup had only included Diana, guitar, bass, and drums. But we get an extra guitar, percussion, strings, and brass.
Some of the songs get the gentle bossa influence that they have on CD. One of these is I've Got You Under My Skin. Hers may be my favorite
version of one of my favorite songs. She does a beautiful rendition of another favorite, Cry Me a River.
Pace is handled well in the show, with a mix of upbeat numbers and lush, romantic slower numbers. Maybe You'll Be There is one of the more
moving of the latter. On the other end of the spectrum are swinging numbers like Deed I Do, an energetic and joyous romp. Let's Fall in Love and
'S Wonderful are also highlights.
As other reviewers have mentioned, Diana comes out alone for one last song. The audience is at her command by now, and she delivers an
astounding version of Joni Mitchell's A Case of You, a perfect ending for the show.
So many music videos are flighty and jerky, jumping from one performer's face, to some audience member's singing along, to some band member's closed eyes. Not so this video. Musicians will love the way this video shows the performers playing their instruments with languid transitions and long (for a music video) segments showing each musician's technique. Diana's solos are shown so that you can see her fingering at the piano; similarly, you can see the guitarist and bassist's left and right hands as they take their solos. It's as if the camera person read my mind, going to each performer just as I wanted to see them, framing that performer so I can see just that I want, and moving to another performer just when my own eyes would have moved on had I been at the performance. If, like me, you are typically frustrated at what you don't see in a concert video, this one will really please you.
I also want to comment on one gem of a number: Diana's encore, a piano/vocal solo of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." I've heard Diana do this one several times, and, while nice, those renditions did not wow me. This one, though, is really special and, as they say, worth the price of the DVD alone.