Diana Krall - Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival
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Diana Krall: Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival is a portrait of an already-accomplished musician in the process of evolving into a great artist. Always a fine jazz pianist, an expressive singer, and a capable interpreter (mostly of the Great American Songbook), Krall spent little time developing an original voice prior to her marriage to Elvis Costello and her CD The Girl in the Other Room, which features multiple songwriting collaborations with Costello as well as more adventurous choices in cover material (Joni Mitchell's "Black Crow," Tom Waits's "Temptation"). That 2004 recording is the centerpiece of this concert; fully nine of the 13 selections here, including the Waits and Mitchell songs as well as five Costello-Krall compositions, were drawn from it. Purists may lament the lessening of the straight-ahead jazz element in Krall's music (indeed, with its simple major chords and countryish lilt, the original "Narrow Daylight" will inevitably invite comparisons to Norah Jones). But Krall and her excellent band still swing mightily (cf. an extended version of the standard "All or Nothing at All") and improvise like the seasoned jazz pros they are. It's a heady combination: Krall is at least as good an instrumentalist as her contemporaries; add to that her singing and now an interest in songwriting that reflects the influence of pop music as well as jazz, and you have a genuinely unique talent. --Sam Graham
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But I was disappointed with her entertainement abilities.
She was in her own world, barely speaking to us except to give us the title of the song she was about to play.
I will continue to buy her CDs, no doubt she's talented, but I will not spend my money buying tickets to her shows.
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The only complaint I have about it is the frantic camerawork throughout the concert. There are so many camera angles fading in and out that it gets tiring to watch. I just wished that the camera would sit still for at least 10 seconds. I get the feeling that it was directed by someone who has only directed 30 second commercials.
Of course, the music is terrific and includes all the new tunes that weren't on the Paris DVD. I also prefer the quartet sound to the full orchestra from the other disc.
the opening track "Sometimes I Just Freak Out" combine standard swing to more uptempo "bebop"-ish groove, the transition is so smooth. "Devil May Care" show how Erskine and Hurst manage the super fast bop groove with ease. the bluesy "Love Me Like A Man", and sentimental "Departure Bay" made the finale of the show. And with Elvis Costello co-writing tunes, i found that the melodies become more smooth and easy-listening, but that became a interesting blend with Krall master piano works, and great solos are all over the place, like Hurst and Erskine blaze over "East of the Sun" and "Devil May Care", the improvisation of Wilson and Krall on "Stop this World" is just jaw-dropping as well.
GET THIS!! If you are interested in jazz music and jazz vocal and solo stuff you'll like this one, this DVD highlights one of the most impotant moments of the Montreal Jazz Fest 2004, as well as Krall's music journey, though this might not be typically "Krall"-ish style of music for the sake of the co-writer Costello, but it doesn't affect the quality of music thru out, check it out!!!
If you've had the chance to see Diana live (which I've been able to do three times now), you'll love this DVD. It much better captures the live concert that you typically see with her, as opposed to "Live in Paris." What I've always loved about seeing her live is listening to her strech out on piano, and seeing her guitarist do the same. I've seen Anthony Wilson (the guitarist seen on this DVD) with her the last two times I saw her in concert, and he always comes dangerously close to stealing the show. He's an absolutely great improvisor, and it's great to see him play.
If you like Diana on stage more than in the studio, definitely get this DVD. Even is you like Diana in the studio more, still get it, because she shines as always.
Those who've supported Diana's changes probably don't need a review to know that this DVD is a must-have, as is her last concert video LIVE IN PARIS. The sound quality is excellent (including 5.1 surround option), camera angles very good, and her performance is consistently strong, with more mature vocals and more adventurous piano solos. On MONTREAL she is accompianed by bass, guitar, and drums throughout (unlike the Paris concert, which has some orchestrated tunes). Also, I greatly admire that she stays in the present tense (so to speak), focusing on recent tunes: 9 of the 12 songs on this DVD are fom her newest album. While I thought highly of the studio versions, in a live setting the new material sounds even fresher, with fluid, emotive performances by Diana and her band.
Those who were disappointed with THE GIRL... album just might want to check out this video for a different view of the new material. That studio album for better or worse seemed like a significant move away from her established classic jazz sound (a shift which I thought highly of but you may not agree). Yet on this DVD her performances of those same tunes seem to have found considerable common ground with Diana's jazz-based music that brought her fame back in the late-1990s, and fit like a glove next to the three standards that are mixed in with the new songs here. The flow from Diana's past to her present in my opinion is much more seamless than you might expect based on the studio versions. Not all the skeptics will be back in Diana's corner, but I believe quite a few will be (just as some critics of THE LOOK OF LOVE wound up embracing the subsequent LIVE IN PARIS video).
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