“Diana Krall: Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival” is a 2004 DVD
release of a concert given during the 25th Montreal Jazz Festival
held that year, and performed in a huge arena.
I thought that the folks at the Verve record label did a great job
with this release, with respect to both the sound and the
camerawork, and the disc has either Dolby stereo or
Surround Sound options. The 90-minute set featured songs
that Ms. Krall (1964 – ) co-wrote with her husband, singer
and songwriter, Elvis Costello (1954 – ), as well as more
“straight ahead” Jazz numbers, some of which were purely
instrumental. The set list included “Abandoned Masquerade,”
“Sometimes I Just Freak Out” and “All or Nothing at All.” In
addition to Ms. Krall’s pianistic and singing talents, these
high-caliber performances can also be attributed to the abilities
of guitarist Anthony Wilson (1968 – ), bassist Robert Hurst
(1964 – ) and drummer Peter Erskine (1954 – ).
Everyone shone due to the aforementioned sound quality.
Those who relegate her to a “light Jazz” category would do
well to remember that Ms. Krall has some serious piano chops.
I was personally more impressed by her playing than her singing.
Although perhaps a bit higher in the sound mix, Anthony Wilson
sounded fantastic and Peter Erskine was a model of taste and
refinement, never overplaying his parts. In fact, Erskine only had
one brief solo, near the end of the set. Robert Hurst displayed
considerable virtuosity, although occasionally sacrificing pitch
in the process. I’ve found this to be a common occurrence
with upright bassists.
This was a concert of superbly rendered “safe” Jazz, which
sometimes ventured into Pop territory. Although I can’t say
that I was particularly excited or moved by the music itself,
I was impressed by the musicianship all around. I’m glad that
I watched this disc and would recommend it to any Diana Krall
fan, or anyone else who’s curious about her music.