Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SACD of the Day - "Diana Krall: The Girl in The Other Room"

Super Audio CD (SACD) of the Day
Diana Krall: "The Girl in the Other Room" (Verve) 2004

Produced by Tommy LiPuma & Diana Krall, includes six original songs the singer co-wrote with her husband Elvis Costello, plus versions of tunes by Tom Waits ("Temptation"), Elvis Costello (his cult-hit "Almost Blue", covered by Chet Baker), Chris Smitter ("Love Me Like A Man"), Joni Mitchell (a vigorous take on "Black Crow"), Mose Allison ("Stop This World") and Arthur Herzog & Irene Kitchings ("I'm Pulling Through", my personal favorite track).
This is a Hybrid SACD) Hybrid, which will play in standard CD players. Howver, a Super Audio CD player is required to take advantage of the SACD sound technology.

Recorded at Capitol Studios (Hollywood, CalifUSA) and Avatar Studios (New York), with the typically gorgeous sound quality provided by master engineer Al Schmitt, and featuring: Neil Larson (Hammond B-3 organ only on "Temptation"), Anthony Wilson (guitar), Christian McBride & John Clayton (bass), Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton & Terri Lynne Carrington (drums).

It may or may not be significant that Diana Krall's first album of new material since the ascendance of Norah Jones was the former's least jazzy, most pop-savvy album of her career. In any case, it marked Krall's biggest departure of the jazz standards that constituted her previous repertoire, and it contained her first recorded batch of original songs. It's possible that new husband Elvis Costello, who co-wrote all six of those tunes with his wife, was the agent provocateur. It's also feasible that Costello, who has previously recorded Mose Allison material and palled around with Tom Waits, nudged Krall toward such choice selections as Allison's bluesy plaint "Stop This World" and Waits's cocktail rhumba "Temptation." Nevertheless, Krall delivered them--like the rest of the songs here--in a misty, laconic style very consistent with her earlier work. There's no attempt at pop-oriented production here, just the same piano-trio sound that's been Krall's stock in trade all along.

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