JOSE FELICIANO BAND: NEW MORNING, THE PARIS CONCERT (DVD) Image

This 2008 concert, filmed in high definition at the New Morning jazz club in Paris, features the legendary singer in a 20-song set that shifts between a variety of musical styles.

Feliciano performs his standards “Light My Fire” and “Chico and the Man” and a variety of intriguing covers ranging from a hard rocking take on Neil Diamond’s “Cherry, Cherry” to a Latin-spiced spin on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Sadly, the song that he is best known for, the holiday standard “Feliz Navidad,” is absent from the mix.

Daniel Farhi’s direction makes the most of a very tight space, creating a sense of visual intimacy that never becomes claustrophobic or monotonous. Although Feliciano is seated throughout the show, his presence is always fascinating and his versatility in switching amid styles demands respect.

However, even Feliciano’s strongest fans need to admit that he is some distance from his peak years. His voice lacks the warmth and irony to sell a romantic balladeering approach for his little-heard “Crazy Heart” and a remake of Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea.” However, his guitar skills remain peerless and his energy level never flags in the course of the 98-minute production.

The New Morning audience clearly enjoys the show – especially one very attractive young lady, who is not afraid to dance in a manner that shows off her figure to its fullest. And if the concert never truly soars, it nonetheless glides at a pleasant retro level that provides a genuine icon a chance to shine anew for fans and fans-to-be.

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