Judge Clark Douglas will soon release his modern take on all your favorite ragtime numbers.
If you happen to live in the Netherlands, odds are pretty high you're familiar with singer Caro Emerald. Her debut album Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor spent thirty weeks atop the charts in her native country, making it the best-selling album of all time in that particular part of the world. It wasn't long before Ms. Emerald began to find success throughout Europe, as her sophomore effort The Shocking Miss Emerald reaching the top of the charts in the UK. While she isn't nearly as well-known here in the United States, she's clearly a huge talent deserving of her rise to stardom. Unfortunately, due to a variety of factors it looks like the singer won't be touring the US again until at least 2015, so hopefully Caro Emerald in Concert will satisfy American fans hoping to check our her live show.
The liner notes included with this Blu-ray release describes Emerald as a jazz singer, but that doesn't seem quite accurate. She's not a jazz singer in the traditional sense; more of a pop singer who has clearly been influenced by quite a few jazz artists. The most immediate comparison that springs to mind is the late Amy Winehouse, though Emerald is both more and less modern than the "Back to Black" singer. Emerald's key influences primarily seem to be figures of the '20s, '30s and '40s: The Andrews Sisters here, some Django Reinhardt there. However, she frequently spices up her take on this bouncy older music with some record-scratching dance music effects. Every now and then it feels like a slightly tacky way to make the music more blatantly commercial, but usually it serves as an effective way to modernize the material.
Emerald doesn't engage in a whole lot of chit-chat with her audience over the course of the performance, but she seems like an amiable stage presence who is completely at ease with who she is. Over the course of 90 minutes, she breezes through a generous selection of tunes from her two albums (though the concert took place just before the second album was released):
Just One Dance
Caro Emerald in Concert (Blu-ray) has received a strong 1080i/1.78:1 transfer. There isn't a whole of visual razzle-dazzle in the show (save for Emerald's sharp-looking band; an octet of tuxedo-clad gentlemen who seem to be on loan from Harry James or Glenn Miller), but detail is impressive and depth is strong. What really matter is the DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio mix, which gets the job done quite effectively. Though there are just a few moments when Emerald's voice nearly gets overpowered by the beefy brass, but otherwise it's a stellar mix. Supplements include two bonus rehearsal performances (of "Tangled Up" and "That Man") and a 13-minute interview with Caro. For whatever reason, the folks at BBC Video have included the supplements in the overall running time listed on the back of the package, so be aware that the concert is indeed 90 minutes, not 111.
Caro Emerald in Concert was my first exposure to this talented young performer, but I'm eager to explore more of her work. She's clearly a tremendously gifted singer, and she seems poised to become an even bigger star than she already is. The Blu-ray release offers newcomers a stellar introduction to her and fans a generous mix of tunes from both of Emerald's albums.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
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