With a career spanning nearly twenty years, several top 10 Billboard album’s and awards that include the prestigious Grammy, Diane Krall is a name known by many fans of the Canadian native Jazz pianist and vocalist. A recent studio album (Quiet Nights) was her first in three years and through various performances over the years (including a performance on her husband Elvis Costello’s TV program up in Canada) she has entertained thousands of fans. Now Eagle Rock Entertainment has released her Live in Rio concert on both DVD and Blu-ray high-definition formats, boasting eighteen live tracks as well as a handful of extras, some of which are exclusive to the Blu-ray release.
Live in Rio features Krall with her quartet-Anthony Wilson (guitar), John Clayton (bass) and Jeff Hamilton (drums)-plus a full orchestra on 18 lush, romantic, and evocative songs. This concert showcases Krall performing standards such as “Where Or When,” “Too Marvelous For Words,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed To His Face,” and Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s “Walk On By,” among others. Many of these tracks are off the Quiet Nights (Verve) CD release, her 12th studio album. What makes this performance so special is that Krall recreates these classics, imbuing them with her unique fusion of jazz, samba, and bossa nova.
I cannot honestly tell you that I’d ever heard of Krall before this release; I’m simply not into the jazz “scene” and as such I simply don’t know her music. Her name did sound vaguely familiar, at least, so that was something to go on as I stepped into the Live in Rio concert. Of course, what I was met with wasn’t immediately enjoyable to the ears; her voice takes some getting used to and while it’s not necessarily bad…it’s definitely something you have to warm up to. Almost like an acquired taste, however, Krall’s songs eventually become more pleasant to the ear as she progressed through the eighteen song set.
If anything I could probably relate her music to that of something similar to Norah Jones, although perhaps a little more upbeat than that. The sounds are similar, but I’m not even a fan of Jones so I can only base that analogy on the little I’ve heard of her music. Although I walk into most of these Eagle Rock Blu-ray concerts with little knowledge of what I’m about to listen to, the artists are at the very least always enjoyable in some regard, so with that said I did enjoy the concert for what it was worth, although certainly not as much as a fan of hers would, I’m sure.
For those wondering what songs she plays throughout the concert, the full track list includes:
1) I Love Being Here With You
2) Let’s Fall In Love
3) Where Or When
4) Too Marvelous For Words
5) I’ve Grown Accustomed To His Face
6) Walk On By
7) Frim Fram Sauce
8) Cheek To Cheek
9) You’re My Thrill
10) Let’s Face The Music And Dance
11) Every Time We Say Goodbye
12) So Nice
13) Quiet Nights
14) Este Seu Olhar
15) The Boy From Ipanema
16) I Don’t Know Enough About You
18) Exactly Like You
Overall it’s a solid concert and one that comes Recommended to her fans fans, although newcomers may feel a bit lost at first if they aren’t already accustomed to her “smoky” voice.
Diana Krall: Live in Rio arrives in a standard Blu-ray Elite Blu-ray case with a two-sided insert. Also included inside is a booklet that talks about the concert and lists the full credits/contents of the concert and Blu-ray. Menus are simple and easy to navigate.
The AVC encoded 1080i transfer for the concert is a bit of a mixed bag; in the close up and brightly lit shots the quality is high, with a solid level of detail and an overall enjoyable picture. However, distance shots are littered with noise as well as a waxy appearance that may be the result of some DNR to get rid of said noise. Whatever the reason, the transfer isn’t entirely without flaw and is far from the best looking Eagle Rock production. As per the Eagle Rock standard, three different audio tracks are included for your listening pleasure: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless, LPCM 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1. While the DD5.1 is obviously the poorest of the three, it is by no means “horrible” sounding by any matter. The LPCM track is also incredibly boastful in stereo, with excellent clarity. But it’s the DTS-HD that wins out, as it’s both loud and forceful throughout the room, with excellent surround usage as well as strong LFE output. No matter which track you can’t go wrong, but the LPCM and DTS-HD are definitely the two to check out first if you have the means to.
The Rooftop Session – four “improv” sessions with Krall and band members (Blu-ray Exclusive)
Quiet Conversations – interviews with Diana and her band during their stay in Rio de Janeiro
The Boy From Ipanema – the music video for the song of the same name.
All three extras are presented in 1080i.
Overall a solid release for fans that comes Recommended.
Diane Krall: Live in Rio is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.