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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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The band, featuring guitarist Anthony Wilson and bassist John Clayton perfectly complement her smokey vocals and terrific tickling of the ivories. The European Symphony Orchestra joins in to add to the sense of the event. It's not unusual for pop or jazz artists to have strings added in a studio recording, but the cost and demographics of such a thing make it quite unusual for a live performance today, and the Orchestra adds just the right touch without seeming cloying or getting in the way.
The camera work is absolutely spectacular - you wouldn't have a better experience if you were a spirit with the ability to flit from place to place among the players and audience. You see the musicians trade knowing glances - they're in the middle of something special.
I love music and live music always carries a quality about it that is nearly impossible to duplicate in a recording studio - it's why "Live" albums have existed for decades. In the studio the musician can do it over and over and over until it's perfect, but they still can't replicate the palpable electricity that accompanies a performance in front of an admiring crowd.
This DVD captures that live excitement better than any I've ever seen. I've seen hundreds of shows live, and probably similar numbers of live music recordings. (Some of my favorites, in no particular order, are Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - Live at the El Mocambo 1983,Alison Krauss & Union Station Live (Jewel Case),Tony Bennett - The Music Never Ends (Two-Disc Special Edition),Andrea Bocelli - Under the Desert Sky [CD Included] and James Taylor Live at the Beacon Theatre. But this DVD comes closer than any I've ever enjoyed to capturing that special magic that happens when a great performer gets to do their thing in front of a live audience.
$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.
No, No Diana, you're not fooling me.