Diana Krall: Live in Rio
As a die-hard Diana Krall fan who was lucky enough to have a front & center seat at her April 2009 "Quiet Nights" tour concert in Winnipeg, I can heartily recommend this DVD (or the Bluray version Diana Krall: Live in Rio [Blu-ray
It can't match the live concert thrill of being close enough to the stage to hear her foot tapping as she played and sang, but over all, it's better in many ways to having a front row seat at one of her performances. You see more, but hear a lot less.
In this very well-produced live-concert video, she covers many of the songs from her recent Quiet Nights album, plus fresh new renditions of a number of her long-time repertoire like "I Love Being Here with You", "Frim Fram Sauce" and "s'Wunderful". If you like the tunes from her latest "Quiet Nights" CD, there's a very important reason to buy this video: the vocal audio on the CD sounds really breathy and unsupported (in short, not at all like I have grown to expect Diana's voice to sound).
On this live concert recording, her voice sounds ... like Diana is supposed to sound :-).
But the biggest single reason for any real Diana Krall fan to own this disk is her combo's performance of Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek." This tune alone is worth ten times the price of the DVD all by itself.
Her verbal intro of the tune goes something like "We're gonna improvise a bit here -- we've never recorded this next song, and only played it a few times before tonight. We hope you like it..."
Then she kicks it off with a brief piano solo, the combo joins in, and it just keeps getting better all the way through. After a once-through vocal solo, she turns the proceedings over to marvelous long Anthony Wilson and Jeff Hamilton solos, and John Clayton provides a great up-tempo walking bass that drives the whole tune. Diana's piano and vocal solos are nothing less than superb.
First, it's a great arrangement. Second, the extended solos by her combo members. Third, the video features lots of non-verbal communication between all the members of the combo, and outstandingly tight ensemble playing. You'll *really dig* what happens in the middle of the drum solo...
To say that this tune "swings" would be one of the greatest understatements of all time. Various camera shots clearly show that Diana and her band were all having a superbly great time playing this, and that translates into an even better time watching/listening to it! And if there's anyone who can do cooler brush tricks than Jeff Hamilton does here, I want to know about it.
Man, if Diana had programmed "Cheek to Cheek" for her concert in Winnipeg, you would have seen me doing loop-de-loops of delight over the rafters of the MTS Centre...