Take a quiet night in front of a fireplace with a glass of a fine brandy. That first sip slides down slowly, traceable as the it lands in the stomach, then spreads a warmth outward and upward, flushing the cheeks, tingling the ears. It creates a comforting glow. That’s something akin to a night with Diana Krall and her trio. That, and more. Krall, who’s touring madly (see www.dkrall.com for tour dates), is a marvel. At the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, N.Y., on April 27 she put on an extraordinary show – swinging, yet intricate; poised, yet playful. The intimate setting of the historic hall was perfect for Krall and her gang, because if its one thing she can put across its intimacy. They came out swinging with “I Love Being Here With You,” but it was with the soft and sultry version of “All or Nothing At All” that she scooped up the audience in her hands and blew a warm, soothing breath across them, captivating them. Most of the songs came from two CDs, “Love Scenes” and the Grammy-winning “When I Look in Your Eyes.” Many of the versions were longer, more venturesome, both vocally and pianistically. Krall would change phrasing, sometimes subtly and other times more dramatically. And she seemed in the mood to investigate how she could do different things on piano with her tight, first-rate band. Songs included “Let’s Fall In Love,” “I Don’t Know Enough About You,” “Devil May Care,” “East of the Sun,” and “Take the A Train.” Her singing is exquisite. It’s not powerful – she doesn’t just fills up her lungs and lets go. She’s deft and subtle. She woos you with a voice is so enticing, a style so smooth, it’s impossible to resist. Like sirens from the shore, once you hear it, you’re done for. But don’t worry, there are no rocks for the ship to crash into.
No one sings a ballad like Krall. She even shifted gears from jazz and into Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” (which she performed in April at an all-star tribute to Mitchell in New York City, a show that aired a short time later on the TNT cable TV network).
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I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.