If I was forced to make a recommendation for someone who could and would only buy one Ani disc, this would be the release I recommend. Why? It is the perfect crossroads between earlier Ani and later "band" Ani.
For my purposes here, I am considering "a band" to be 3 or more people. This band (Ani, Andy on drums, and Sara Lee on bass) is easily my favorite band that Ani has ever put together, so far. First of all, this band is still mainly about Ani, and that isn't the case with her later, larger bands. The larger her bands became, the less that the core of the sound revolved around Ani, and that was almost always disappointing to me. In theory I don't have anything against Ani being in 5 or 6 person bands. It was the specific bands themselves that made me largely dislike their concert sound, not the fact that she was in bands at all. I'm sure Julie and those horn players were great fun, and nice people to be around, but musically they should have been thanking their lucky stars that they were ever able to stand on the same stage as an artist of Ani's caliber, because none of them were even close to her league. Beyond that, the larger her bands became, the worse her concert sound became. Oftentimes being muddy and boomy.
That was the bottomline for me. None of Ani's later, large, electric bands had any musicians in them who were even 25% of the musician that Ani is, so it was disappointing to hear her so often buried in a muddy mix of musicians who were so far beneath her. With those bands, when she'd come out and do a Garden of Simple or Both Hands by herself (or at least with the band playing very slightly behind her), it was the highlight of the night because you could hear HER perfectly.
That is why Living In Clip is such a great live document. This band is excellent, and their sound is open. No matter how deep of a groove Sara lays down, Ani's guitar and lyrics still cut right through. And yes, Sara is my favorite electric bassist Ani has toured with so far. This band is just so sympathetic to the song and the mood, whether that means rocking it hard, or playing so delicately as to frame Ani in the most vulnerable light.
These 2 discs both contain many definitive (of commercially available) versions of the tunes they contain. Hide & Seek, I'm No Heroine, Every State Line, 32 Flavors, Joyful Girl, Fire Door, Letter To a John, Overlap, etc... as they were performed here on this set all stand proudly near the top of her entire recorded output thus far.
If Ani ever releases a live "band" disc that is better than this one I will be ecstatic, as well as shocked, because Living In Clip is a masterpiece.