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Lush strings and gliding flutes surround Diana Krall's tender vocals. Even her substantial piano interludes take on the appearance of drifting mists, through the mix of orchestral timbres. With an emphasis on her sultry vocal interpretations, the latest album reaches out to a broad, popular music audience. Nothing wrong with that. It's just that jazz fans usually want the improvised licks along with their melodies. Russell Malone does provide a few; and they're up to his usual high standards. Expressive instrumental fill can make a vocal interpretation work better than a hundred strings and flutes can; given the right circumstances.
Singing in Spanish, Krall convinces even the crustiest of listeners with her interpretation of "Besame Mucho." She's melting hearts all over the world. The purity of her vocal presence remains a pleasure for every listener. Things just fall into place naturally. Krall's expressive delivery sets her apart from many contemporary jazz singers. Of course, her piano interludes – such as the intricate solo woven into "The Night We Called it a Day" – provide much-needed satisfaction, through their subtle adventure. Krall explores these familiar melodies with wandering right-hand journeys through their harmonic structures. Unfortunately, they're obscured somewhat by the lush string orchestra. With the title track, we're treated to an arrangement that parrots the original. Nostalgia sets in, and Krall honors the tried and true formula. Her piano interlude, while brief, serves to add more sparks of interest to the song.
By interpreting classic love songs, Krall's latest album turns toward romantic interests. The clutter of a large string orchestra, however, obscures the total picture.
Track Listing: S'Wonderful; Love Letters; I Remember You; Cry Me a River; Besame Mucho; The Night We Called it a Day; Dancing in the Dark; I Get Along Without You Very Well; The Look of Love; Maybe You'll Be There.
Personnel: Diana Krall- piano, vocals; Russell Malone, Dori Caymmi, Romero Lubambo, John Pisano- guitar; Christian McBride- bass; Jeff Hamilton, Peter Erskine- drums; Paulinho Da Costa, Luis Conte- percussion.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.