WBGO Afternoon Jazz host Michael Bourne chats with pianist and singer Diana Krall. They discuss her upcoming performance at Radio City Music Hall and her latest album The Look of Love.
Michael Bourne: Do you ever feel dizzy from the whirlwind of everything that's been happening?
Diana Krall: I think I was overwhelmed at Radio City Music Hall. I was driving past Radio City Music Hall after arriving back in New York and not being here for a while. When you drive by Radio City and you see your name up there and it's only "your" name. I just went "ooh". I thought this is really like looking at another person.
MB: Your new album The Look of Love is in some ways an homage to Claus Ogerman's earlier works, such as the Frank Sinatra album Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
DK: Well, you know, it's been interesting because an album is just a snapshot of where you are at that time. Not all pictures of everybody are just in jeans and a "T" shirt, or a ball gown. You have many different sides and this is a snapshot of where you are at that time. I've always thought if I were ever to have the opportunity to work with Claus Ogerman, it would definitely be an album of ballads and bossa novas. I mean, I don't think I would call Claus to do an album of big band tunes. You know, just like arrangers write for the artist they have in mind; you have to keep in mind if you're going to work with Claus Ogerman. You invite him to do what he does.
MB: Well, you call it a snapshot. It's interesting because every song can be a painting and every song can be a movie or a one-act play.
DK: Well, that's the way I look at songs, like that singer across the table from you [is] telling you just how I feel. You're creating an intimacy that everybody feels, that it's their experience, not yours. I'll never introduce a song and say, now this song is about "my" broken heart. I like to interpret "Call me a River", as [if] I'm saying, "Now you're telling me you love me after all that, and I'm telling you to shove off." That's my interpretation. But I would never "say" that because somebody else might interpret [the song] in another way.
MB: One of the things that you were afraid of earlier was the glamour aspect. If people come to see you because you're beautiful, you still have to play.
DK: I think that [I was] being much more uptight about those things before. I feel like I really don't have to prove anything at this point other than what I'm doing. I love music so much I love what I do. I work very hard at being the best musician I can be because I love it.
MB: There have been so many moments I can remember listening to you over the years and I loved this moment at the Montreal Concert last year. There was a moment that was so touching and you got so deep into this one song that you were still at the end of it because it was really heartbreaking.
DK: I was talking to somebody recently about this; if I'm interpreting, for instance, "A Case Of You", Joni Mitchell or George Gershwin's, "But Not For Me", I have to get so into character that afterwards I just feel shattered. Sometimes I can't get out of the character because the story is very intense.
MB: I've been listening more this last year to Cole Porter than ever before, whom we think of as the great super sophisticate. But, when you really listen to his love songs, he really tries to define love. He is really confused by love sometimes, and then he's really joyously, deeply in it.
DK: "I've Got You Under My Skin", is a very good example of that. I choose lyrics very carefully, and, that's what's interesting about something like "I've Got You Under My Skin". It's almost like you're saying, I know this is wrong, it must be wrong, but right or wrong I can't get along without you. That's why these songs have lasted as long as they have because they're just about feelings that don't change. They are love songs, they are not specific, those kinds of feelings don't change.