Diana Krall’s Live in Rio affords close-up of performers - Metro US

Diana Krall’s Live in Rio affords close-up of performers

Diana Krall has already wrapped the Canadian portion of an extensive world tour that will keep her on the road until November, so the jazz pianist/singer is giving Canuck audiences a second chance to watch her perform.

Concert film “Diana Krall Live in Rio” will screen at Cineplex movie theatres across the country on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (local time).

But while Krall’s husky voice can certainly fill a room, this release isn’t really worthy of filling a movie theatre.

The film draws from a November 2008 show Krall performed in Brazil with her quartet and a full orchestra.

The footage is competent, but never goes beyond what’s on stage – fans will have to wait for the May 26 DVD release to gain any insight from Krall beyond what she mutters between songs.

But Krall sold out most of the Canadian dates on her tour – even single seats for her back-to-back shows at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre cost at least $90 online – so for hardcore fans who were shut out, “Live in Rio” might be appealing.

The sound sparkles and the 11 High Definition cameras do afford a closer look than concert-goers might be accustomed to.

Viewers get an up-close peek at the seamless non-verbal communication between Krall and bassist John Clayton – mostly glances, smiles and eyebrow-raises – and the tension in Krall’s face when she plays the piano, while the 18 songs she selects are accessible without being too by-the-numbers.

The Nanaimo, B.C., native performs standards such as “Quiet Nights,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to his Face,” and “Too Marvelous for Words,” and effectively strikes a sensual mood throughout her set.

Less effective are the quick, generic shots of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches, slums and gardens that are layered over some songs. The clips, free of context, feel stock, and a little cheesy.

Still, Krall’s deep fondness for Rio is evident from the onset of the concert.

“This is such a special place for me,” the 44-year-old says at one point.

In fact, the two-time Grammy Award-winning artist seems eminently grateful for the audience’s adoration, in a way that suggests mutual respect. She even seems surprised at times with the warm response she receives.

“Oh my god, thank you,” she says appreciatively following one round of applause.

During “The Boy from Ipanema,” Krall encourages the audience to sing a verse, then keeps quiet as the chorus rises from the seats.

It’s one of the film’s most spine-tingling moments, and yet as you sit with a bucket of popcorn half a world away, it’s hard not to feel a bit left out.

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