3 Featurette - The Handsome Band Bio: From The Beginning, 24 Hours On The Handsome Bus, & Robbie And Adam's Guitar Tour
2 Music video - Those Sweet Words & What Am I To You?
Booklet - 8 Pages
4 Outtakes - She, Come Away With Me, Creepin' In, & Toes
Norah Jones And The Handsome Band - Live 2004
R4 . COLOR . 72 mins .
G . PAL
Recorded live at the Ryman auditorium in Nashville Tennessee 2004, this second live DVD from Norah Jones is a much more accomplished effort. Directed by Hamish Hamilton, himself no stranger to filming a band live; working with the likes of U2, Madonna, Robbie Williams, & Brittany Spears to name but a few. Hamish employs a very stylistic approach when capturing an artist on stage. The venue is an excellent choice for this live recording, which he takes full advantage of.
The stage and lighting design is kept to a minimum, making way for the real star of the performance – the music supplied by Norah Jones and her band dubbed The Handsome Band, comprised of Adam Levy (Guitar & Vocal), Andrew Borger (Drums), Robbie McIntosh (Guitar), and Lee Alexander (Bass). Some of which are either long term collaborators or recent additions to the band. But judging by this performance you would think that they have all been playing together for years.
and The Handsome Band.
Evidently Norah has certainly surrounded herself with some talent here with the highlight being, Robbie & Adam’s guitar work, which features some decent use of slide as well some excellent solos. The show also features special guests that include Kevin Breit, Richard Julian, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and last but certainly not least Dolly Parton. All are either friends of Norah’s or influences as such.
Now anyone that’s a fan of Norah Jones and her unique blend of folk, jazz, pop, soul, & blues are in for a treat here. The show’s set list comprises of cuts from her two albums Come Away With Me & Feels Like Home, as well as a couple of extra tracks thrown in along the way. In total there are 16 songs performed live however two of the tracks are from rehearsal performances.
The tracks featured are:
1. What Am I To You? 4:35 (Rehearsal)
2. Sunrise 3:55
3. Those Sweet Words 3:58
4. In The Morning 5:42
5. Carnival Town 4:31
6. That’s The Way That the World Goes ‘Round 3:42
7. Humble Me 4:51
8. Don't Miss You at All 3:54
9. The Long Way Home 3:28
10. Don't Know Why 3:16
11. Creepin’ In 5:43
12. The Prettiest Thing 3:45 (Rehearsal)
13. Moon Song 3:09
14. Above Ground 4:43
15. Loretta 4:21
16. Life Is a Carnival 6:33
The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (16:9 Enhanced) and in a single word the quality is superb! Hamish shot the concert using film rather than video, which was then transferred to DVD using an extremely high bit rate thus alleviating any mpeg artefacts along the way. The overall image is extremely sharp with just a hint of grain present that really only draws attention to itself during some of the moments were there was little light used to light the stage.
Lost in the moment.
Like the video, the audio that accompanies the feature is of high quality. There are two soundtracks to choose from; a 5.1 Dolby Digital and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. The 5.1 track is exceptional and creates a very wide stereo image across the front channels. Unusually the centre channel is fed very little information, if any at all. It is flagged as active but I couldn’t discern a great deal of sound coming from it. I initially thought it a fault until I got up and checked my equipment. The surrounds capture the acoustics of the small venue beautifully providing a little reverb, and also capturing the applause and cheers of the crowd. The overall sound is very warm whilst bright at the top where it’s needed. The LFE channel doesn’t cop a pounding as you would expect given the nature of music feeding it, and I would hardly call this a fault. Still, Lee Alexander’s double bass and electric bass are reproduced nicely.
Dolly lends her big set of um...lungs for a tune.
The stereo track is fine also and will do the job nicely if you are not set up for surround sound. My only complaint about the audio is the lack of a stereo CD quality PCM track to accompany the feature rather than the lossy compression of Dolby Digital, this is a common feature on a number of live DVDs that I own. And without stating the obvious benefits of the inherit quality, I generally prefer to enable these tracks if I was to listen to a live DVD rather than sit down and watch it.
A humble collection of extras pad out the disc and consist of the following:
Bonus Outtake Tracks : She (4:49), Come Away With Me (3:39), & Creepin’ In (3:41).
“She” and “Come Away With Me” were cut from the main feature while “Creepin’ In” was recorded during rehearsals without Dolly Parton
From The Vaults : Toes (3:50) which was recorded at the House of Blues, New Orleans and is available on Norah’s first DVD; Live In New Orleans.
Music Videos: Those Sweet Words (3:38) & What Am I To You? (3:29)
Behind The Scenes Mini – Documentaries :
The Handsome Band Bio: From The Beginning (9:09) featuring interviews with her band and their occupation and how they came to join her etc. Next up is 24 Hours on the Handsome Bus (9:56): which is basically a day in the life of Norah Jones & Her Handsome Band from sunrise to sunset on the eve of a live show. And finally a guitar freaks wet dream with Robbie and Adam’s Guitar Tour (8:47): where the two discuss their axes that they use during the show.
This live DVD of Norah Jones is a superb example of the DVD format featuring excellent audio and video as well some brief but informative extras. Granted, Ms Jones may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But for fans of her work I have little hesitation in recommending this disc as an addition to your collection.