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Diana Krall: Quiet Nights

Marcia Hillman By

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Diana Krall's new CD arrives just in time to greet the "lazy, hazy days" and nights of summer. On this outing, she is on vocals and piano, accompanied by Anthony Wilson on guitar, bassist John Clayton, drummer Jeff Hamilton, percussionist Paulinho DaCosta and a lush orchestra consisting of a full string section augmented by flutes, French horns, oboe, tuba and vibes.

The material is a selection of familiar American songbook standards and three Antonio Carlos Jobim tunes—"The Boy From Ipanema," "Este Seu Olhar" (sung in Portuguese) and the title song (with Gene Lees' English lyrics). All of the arrangements have been done by the legendary Claus Ogerman, who worked on the bossa nova albums of Jobim, João Gilberto, Astrid Gilberto and Stan Getz among others. Ogerman also did the arrangements for Krall's last CD, The Look of Love (Verve, 2008) and since that CD did well, the decision was made to go with the same formula.

Krall's voice certainly suits the bossa genre. She is at her soft, sultry and sexy best, singing each song straight through, just breathing in and breathing out, and adding just enough single-note piano solos (á la Jobim) on each. Even though Krall is not a belter, the orchestra does not overpower her—it seems to wrap around her like a soft shawl. Everything is done in the bossa tempo with the exception of "I've Grown Accustomed To His Face" (done as a very slow ballad) and "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" (another ballad which features some very silky guitar work by Wilson). There are two bonus tracks that are also non-bossas—The Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart," treated in a gospel fashion, and "Every Time We Say Goodbye" which spotlights the string section in all its glory.

The CD is a peaceful oasis of quiet nights that we could all use in contrast to our stressful, hectic days. Krall ably provides the ultimate atmosphere for relaxing.

Track Listing: Where Or When; Too Marvelous For Words; I've Grown Accustomed To His Face; The Boy From Ipanema; Walk On By; You're My Thrill; Este Seu Olhar; So Nice; Quiet Nights; Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry; How Can You Mend A Broken Heart; Everytime We Say Goodbye.

Personnel: Diana Krall: piano, vocals; Anthony Wilson: guitar; John Clayton: bass; Jeff Hamilton: drums; Paulinho Da Costa: percussion.

Title: Quiet Nights | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

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