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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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DIANA KRALL

From This Moment On

Verve 0602517050426

 

 

 


    1. It Could Happen To You
    2. Isn't This A Lovely Day
    3. How Insensitive
    4. Exactly Like You
    5. From This Moment On
    6. I Was Doing Alright
    7. Little Girl Blue
    8. Day In, Day Out
    9. Willow Weep For Me
    10. Come Dance With Me
    11. It Was a Beautiful Day in August/You Can Depend On Me
    12. The Boulevard of Broken Dreams
    Diana Krall – Vocals, piano
    Gerald Clayton – Piano (tracks 1, 5, 8, 10)
    Jeff Clayton – Alto and soprano saxes (tracks 2, 9)
    Terell Stafford – Trumpet (tracks 2, 4, 9, 10)
    Ira Nepus – Trombone (track 2)
    Anthony Wilson – Guitar (tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12)
    John Clayton – Bass (tracks 4, 6, 7, 11, 12)
    Jeff Hamilton – Drums (tracks 4, 6, 7, 11, 12)
    Gil Castellanos – Trumpet (track 5)
    Tamir Hendelman – Piano (track 9)
    Rickey Woodard – Tenor sax (track 10)
    The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (tracks 1-3, 5, 8-10)

    When we first became aware of Diana Krall, it was as a singing pianist leading a trio reminiscent of Nat "King" Cole’s similar group – and very attractive it was. Then she got orchestral backings which tended to swamp her individuality, after which she appeared as a songwriter collaborating with her husband, Elvis Costello. Now here she is back with a mixture of small-group tracks and big band offerings. Most of the songs come from the Great American Songbook, a category which fits Diana like a glove.

    Five tracks put her at the head of a quartet which allows us fully to savour her pianistic skills as well as her vocals, including a bouncy Exactly Like You, the Gershwin brothers’ I Was Doing Alright (sorry, pedants, but that’s how it’s spelt on the sleeve!), and the poignant Little Girl Blue (with John Clayton’s bowed bass sounding as tender as a cello).

    Some of the big band accompaniments on the other tracks suffer from blandness, sounding just like a thousand other big band backings. The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is usually much more enterprising and distinctive – not to say punchy. However, John Clayton’s arrangements for Isn’t This a Lovely Day and How Insensitive have the warmth of a Thad Jones arrangement for Count Basie. On the former, Terell Stafford’s trumpet commentary behind Diana’s vocals is as eloquently apt as Louis Armstrong was when he accompanied vocalists from Ella Fitzgerald to Bing Crosby.

    Throughout the album, Diana Krall’s vocals are well in tune, sensitive to the lyrics and inventive in phrasing. Her work has been dismissed by some critics as lounge music or merely "easy listening" but this CD displays her ample abilities as both singer and pianist. My copy of the disc contains 12 tracks but a sticker on the front says that this is a "Special Limited Edition" including an "Exclusive Bonus Track" The Boulevard of Broken Dreams. So you may only get eleven tracks if you don’t watch out.


    Tony Augarde

     



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