Thursday, June 01, 2017

Diana Krall Turn Up The Quiet

Diana Krall
Turn Up The Quiet
Verve Records

The latest recording by the acclaimed and honored pianist and singer Diana Krall presents her on a program of mostly standards (and love songs) from the American Songbook. Co-produced by her with the legendary producer Tommy LiPuma (this may be the last album LiPuma was involved with), she also chose the repertoire, conceived the ensemble arrangements and gathered three distinct bands for these sessions. First there is the trio of Diana, bassist, Christian McBride and guitarist, Russell Malone. Then there is a quintet of Krall, Karriem Riggins on drums, Tony Garnier on bass, the fiddle of Stuart Duncan and the guitar of Marc Ribot. The final ensemble is guitarist, Anthony Wilson, bassist, John Clayton Jr. and drummer, Jeff Hamilton (with Stefon Harris on one selection). Several tracks also have a full string section whose orchestrations are by Alan Broadbent who also conducted them.

With the marvelous personnel, Krall plays and sings with her usual elegance. The title is quite apt with her soft, almost whispered, singing on "Like Someone In Love," that opens with with just McBride's melodic bass before her piano and Malone's guitar joins in, with Krall, Malone and then McBride taking solos. It is followed by an interpretation of "Isn't It Romantic," taken almost at a crawl's pace with lovely guitar from Anthony Wilson with Stefon Harris' vibes and Jeff Hamilton's brushwork accenting her own piano with strings coloring Wilson's precious single-note guitar on a performance imbued with romance. Without Harris, this group returns for "L-O-V-E," gently supporting her solo here, as well as on the immortal Cole Porter "Night and Day," with strings and perhaps a slight Brazilian tinge from Wilson's chorded guitar accompaniment.

"I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)," features the quintet with Karriem Riggins on drums, Tony Garnier on bass, the fiddle of Stuart Duncan and the guitar of Marc Ribot, with Duncan's fiddle lending a gypsy quality while Ribot has a neat single note solo after his chorded accompaniment. Ribot's use of tremolo helps set the atmosphere for the exquisite rendition of "Moonglow," with Riggins' deft brushes matching Krall's own soft-spoken vocal, and followed by Ribot's lyrical phasing and tone in his solo. There is a delicate quality to Krall's vocal on "Blue Skies," with Malone and McBride. The Clayton quartet adds light latin backing to "Sway," with the strings adding to the performance's romantic quality. "No Moon at All" is a duet with Clayton who is sublime in his accompaniment here.

The Krall-Malone-McBride trio with sting session provides the setting for the alluring rendition of "Dream," with some special playing from Malone, before the easy swing, and delightful vocal and piano, of "I'll See You In My Dreams," with a gypsy jazz flavor imbued by Ribot's guitar and Duncan's fiddle that closes a marvelous album that may turn up the quiet but also turns up the romance in good measure.

I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the May-June 2017 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 372). Here is the audio for "Night and Day," from "Turn Up The Quiet."

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