Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diana Krall mass appeal draws fullhouse on Quiet Night tour

Younger jazz musicians do not ordinarily have the mass appeal to sell out tickets in large concert halls; Diana Krall changed that as full house are turning up to her Quiet Night album tour to revel in the delight of her acoustic jazz improvisation and interpretations of old standards, her intimate ballads and bossa nova.

The husky-voiced Canadian was raised on jazz by both parents who were jazz pianists, and she studied piano at age four. Later Diana Krall would draw inspiration from Nat King Cole and from piano-playing singers, particularly Carmen McRae. She played in the school band, but by age 15 had a gig three nights a week in the town of Nanaimo.

At age 16, she won a Vancouver Jazz scholarship to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music for the next year. Afterwards, the Canadian Arts Council awarded her a grant to study with pianist great Jimmy Rowles in L.A. The next few years she bounced between Toronto, Boston, and New York, studying with master jazz musicians and playing in small clubs.

Diana Krall began singing against the rhythm, developing a sultry but pure voice compared most to Julie London. She built a small following and released a few albums.

Those few albums debuted with Trust Your Heart, a 1995 album tribute to Nat King Cole was successful, but All For You in the same year remained in the Top 10 of Billboard's Traditional Jazz Charts for over a year and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz vocals. 1997's Love Scenes, filled with smooth ballads like “They Can't Take That Away From Me," also received Grammy nominations. Throughout the 1990's, she was building both a catalogue and a following well beyond jazz idiom.

1998 and Diana Krall reached new levels of popularity with When I Look in Your Eyes, an album with a diverse repertoire including hit parade favourite from the 20's, 50's and won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal performance, Best Non-Classical Engineered Album, and was up for Album of the Year against Santana, the Backstreet Boys, and the Dixie Chicks. Though she didn't win, everyone now knew the name Diana Krall.

The Live in Paris 2002 album earned Diana Krall a Grammy. The 2004 release, The Girl in the Other Room was more pop than jazz, but fans never complained. Quiet Night 2010 is her ninth studio album.

No comments: