Diana Krall – Live In Paris – Verve Records/ORG

by | Sep 12, 2011 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Diana Krall – Live In Paris – Verve Records/ORG 180-gram audiophile vinyl 45 rpm (2 discs) Original Recordings Group 003 ****½:
(Diana Krall – piano, Fender Rhodes, vocals; Anthony Wilson – guitar; John Clayton – bass; Jeff Hamilton – drums; John Pisano – acoustic guitar; Paulinho Da Costa – percussion; Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone; Rob Mounsey – keyboards; Christian McBride – bass; Lewis Nash – drums; Luis Quintero – percussion; Alan Broadbent – musical director, conductor: Orchestre Symphonique Europeen)
Live In Paris, recorded at the Paris Olympia during her sold out run on November 29th to December 2nd 2001, was released the following year. Featuring material from her platinum albums (Only Trust Your Heart, When I Look Into Your Eyes, All For You and The Look Of Love), the album won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Billboard ranked Live In Paris as the 8th best jazz album of the decade. The Canadian artist had developed a loyal following, but had been regarded as a crossover success in certain areas of the jazz community. In 2002 that would change in front of an enthusiastic French audience.
Krall and her outstanding quartet (featuring Anthony Wilson on guitar, John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums) breeze through a variety of popular/jazz standards. The set opens with a swing version of the Peggy Lee/William Shluger classic, “I Love Being Here With You”. At first the listener is struck by the rhythmic, fluent piano and husky vocals. Anthony Wilson executes a dynamic solo on guitar before turning it over to Krall on a commanding run. On the next cut, the Orchestre Symphonique Europeen provide a lush backdrop to a textured cover of ”Let’s Fall In Love”. Up tempo arrangements seem to favor the quartet dynamics and in particular Krall’s piano solos. “’Deed I Do” is explosive, while “East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon)” has a jaunty vibe with John Clayton soloing on bass with nimble finger plucking and bow.
Changes of pace are part of the repertoire. “The Look Of Love” (supplemented by John Pisano on guitar and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion) employs a breezy, Latin-tinged format, but doesn’t have the impact of prior versions (especially Dusty Springfield’s definitive recording).  A deliberate rendition of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” benefits from the orchestral ambiance, and gives Krall an opportunity to inject sultry vocals. The most effective slow number is the solo performance of fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You”. The harmonic piano sets an expressive tone for the subsequent jazzy nuanced singing that captures the heart of the song.
The momentum seems more consistent on the swing numbers. “’S Wonderful” is a natural fit for bossa nova. Krall unleashes a variety of bluesy piano riffs that envelop the melody. “Devil May Care” is full of bop swing dynamics, propelled by Jeff Hamilton’s drumming. Even on a Sinatra tune, “Fly Me To The Moon” Krall is able to inject her smooth take with signature piano licks.
ORG has remastered the tapes for audiophile 45 rpm vinyl. The results are flawless. There is warmth in the tones that reflect the acoustic sound of the band. The separation is precise, especially in the mixes with the orchestra. The intricate registers and suppleness of Krall’s voice are presented with impeccable clarity.  [I think 45 rpm vinyl is the closest we get to the top quality of direct-disc—which almost nobody does anymore except for a few blues releases from Analogue Productions…Ed.]
Side One: I Love Being Here With You; Let’s Fall In Love; ‘Deed I Do
Side Two: The Look Of Love; East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon); I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Side Three: Devil May Care; Maybe You’ll Be There; ‘S Wonderful
Side Four: Fly Me To The Moon; A Case Of You; Just The Way You Are
—Robbie Gerson

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