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Diana Krall at Mountain Winery

In Music
HIGH STANDARDS: Diana Krall has carved a long and memorable career from the Great American Songbook.

HIGH STANDARDS: Diana Krall has carved a long and memorable career from the Great American Songbook.

While she is popular the world over these days, contralto Diana Krall got off to a modest start. Her official debut, 1993’s Stepping Out, earned positive reviews, but it didn’t initially move many units. Yet that release did bring her to the attention of producer Tommy LiPuma. He produced her second LP, Only Trust Your Heart. That album reached the No. 8 position on Billboard’s jazz charts and established pianist-vocalist Krall as a major talent.

Krall’s stock in trade has been her inimitable readings of classic from the Great American Songbook, but she has long displayed a playful side as well: Only Trust Your Heart’s opening track is Louis Jordan’s “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby.” Her third release, a tribute to the Nat King Cole Trio, earned ecstatic reviews, hitting No. 3 on the jazz album chart and going gold (500,000 units sold). The success of that album spurred the first of several reissues of Stepping Out; it eventually went Gold in Krall’s native Canada (40,000 units).

With creative and commercial wind at her back, Krall continued her roll; the dozen-plus albums she released subsequently have all been well-received. She has worked in a number of musical idioms, from a spare trio to arrangements featuring a full string orchestra. Live in Paris, from 2002, is an effective document of her onstage power and skill at improvising both vocally and on the piano.

In 2004, Krall released The Girl in the Other Room, a collection of songs decidedly not from the world of jazz classics. For this record, she cut songs by Mose Allison, Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell. She also began writing her own material with co-composer (and new husband) Elvis Costello. In 2005, she released the inevitable holiday-themed record, Christmas Songs. A second creative detour, 2012’s Glad Rag Doll, found Krall working in ragtime jazz.

By 2017, Diana Krall seemed to have settled comfortably back into the world of standards; with tunes from the pens of Hart and Rodgers, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and Irving Berlin, Turn Up the Quiet is an understated and subtle highlight among her catalog, and 2018’s Love is Here to Stay is a collection of 12 Gershwin tunes in duet with the legendary Tony Bennett. That album charted well in 11 countries, reaching the top spot on the US jazz albums chart. Like love itself, Krall is here to stay

Diana Krall
September 22, 7:30p.m. $79.50 and up
Mountain Winery, Saratoga

 

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