Diana Krall live, tonight, April 25, at the RBC Theatre, 8PM
John Labatt Centre
London, Ontario, CA
And tomorrow night, also at 8PM:
The set list:
1. I Love Being Here With You
2. Let's Fall in Love
3. Where or When
4. I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face
5. Too Marvelous For Words
6. 'Deed I Do
7. You're My Thrill
8. Summer Samba
9. Devil May Care
10. Quiet Nights
11. Love Letters
12. Let's Face The Music and Dance
13. Walk on By
14. I Don't Know Enough About You
15. The Look of Love
16. The Boy from Ipanema
Cool, Sultry Nights
by James Reaney
London (Ontario) Free Press, April 25, 2009
Sexy, sultry jazz superstar Diana Krall is having a ball these days.
"I'm 44. I've two kids. I'm ripping around here like a crazy person trying to figure out how to kick a soccer ball in the hallway of the hotel as well as do these great shows with these great orchestras," says B.C.-born Krall, who plays the RBC Theatre at the John Labatt Centre tonight. "I'm living my life right now. It's pretty intense and pretty great."
Such unquiet, noisy and joyful pursuits are the counterpoint to the moody, sexy, samba tunes on the Grammy-winner's latest album, Quiet Nights (Verve/Universal).
One of its standards, a gorgeous version of I've Grown Accustomed to His Face, is "very personal" for Krall and her husband, British singer-songwriter-TV-Spectacle luminary Elvis Costello. "(It's) the best time of my life. My husband and I, we're just rocking. He's busy with his stuff. I miss him terribly. My boys (2 1/2 year old twins Dexter and Frank) make me laugh and last night I'm reading books to them, in bed, just the three of us," Krall says from a stop on the tour that is taking her across Canada for the first time in several years.
The twins also joined her on a 2007 tour when they were just six months old.
Quiet Nights is drenched in bossa, romance and Krall's own sweet, grown-up way with a love lyric.
In the mood for love in all its glories are Krall's takes on Jobim's The Boy From Ipanema and the title track, the Mercer-Whiting Too Marvellous for Words and the Rodgers-Hart Where or When. There are other sad, sexy moments.
There is some piano on the record, too.
The star's piano playing is the sly and dry counterpoint to those come hither moments and kiss me deadly wit of her vocals.
Surrounding Krall on Quiet Nights and the tour are the lush sounds of an orchestra, with arrangements Claus Ogerman, who conducts on the album. Her musical director Alan Broadbent guides the orchestra on the road.
"Claus wrote for film so we think the same way. I think really cinematically. I think about the scene in a movie and he does too," Krall says.
"(There is) the familial friendship I have with Tommy (LiPuma), Al (Schmitt) and Claus -- all guys who credited records that I love," she says of the Quiet Nights collaboration. Krall and LiPuma co-produced. Schmitt shared recording duties and mixed the album. Ogerman was among those who worked on her 2001 album, The Look Of Love.
Krall has said performing in Brazil for a DVD release -- Live in Rio (Eagle Rock) due on May 26 -- added to her desire to work again with the arranger, who was part of the bossa nova surge in the '60s.
Krall is also delighted to have a band of friends and mentors with her on the album and tour.
"You have (drummer) Jeff Hamilton, (bassist) John Clayton who were my teachers when I was 19 years old, people that I always dreamt of playing with... who are my big brothers," she says, looking back to her jazz studies in the U.S. more than 20 years ago.
"Then I have Anthony (guitarist Anthony Wilson) who is my peer and who comes from the great Gerald Wilson so he knows the history," she says. The guitarist joined Krall for a Grammy-winning recording Live in Paris in 2001. He is the son of Gerald Wilson, a legendary U.S. jazz composer, arranger and bandleader.
"John's playing these little melodic lines," Krall says of the bassist's contribution to Quiet Nights when The Free Press interviewer is praising Hamilton and Wilson. "He plays all these melodies through these melancholy, film noir pieces."
Among Quiet Night's bonus tracks -- which apparently means it was added to the 10 songs in the Ogerman-Krall cinematic "film noir" concept -- is the Bee Gees' How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.
Throughout the conversation, Krall pays tribute time and again to the many music and creative titans who have inspired her. A partial list of the influences she mentioned in the interview earlier this week would include Brazil's Jobim and Joao Gilberto, Canada's Oscar Peterson, Joni Mitchell and Gil Evans, sultry pop's Julie London, jazz's Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Jimmy Rowles, Johnny Mandel, Gerald Wilson, Art Tatum and Ray Brown and cinema's clarinet master Woody Allen.
Next week, Krall will be a guest on Costello's music and talk show, Spectacle (CTV, May 1, 10 p.m.) Costello steps back and Spectacle executive producer Sir Elton John conducts what is billed as his first-ever interview when Krall guests. Costello and Krall were married at John's home six years ago. Krall and John banter, explore some history and even team up for a duet on one of John's biggest hits. Costello shows up again at the end to join his wife and their friend, Sir Elton, for a charming closing number.
It should make for a happy -- if not particularly quiet -- night.
Krall recalls that one of her previous London concerts came at a time when she was feeling the emotional tides surrounding the anniversary of her mother's death from cancer in 2002.
This time, it feels different.
"I look at my life now. I just started a little later. I have this great family. I think I've learned since then how to enjoy this," Krall says.