This year marks the fourth Monterey Jazz Festival appearance by superb pianist and sublime vocalist Diana Krall. She’s a busy and prolific performer: since her first festival appearance in 1997, she’s released nearly a dozen albums (selling more than 15 million worldwide), several DVDs, has garnered two Grammys and played all over the planet, and still finds time to raise young twin sons with her husband Elvis Costello.
Krall’s latest recording, Glad Rag Doll, is made up of songs she reaped from her father’s collection of 78-RPM records and sheet music from her grandparents’ piano bench. Producer T-Bone Burnett was misquoted as calling this “sex music.” What he actually said was “this is swing music,” but both statements apply in this case. Her delivery is sultry—and, well, sexy—and the cover shot of the attractive singer posing languidly in a corset and thigh-high nylons is anything but stodgy.
Don’t get lost in the show-biz glitz, however: this is serious music, performed by top-flight musicians at the apex of their powers. The Monterey Jazz Festival performance on Sunday evening is just one stop on a multi-month world tour that has been generating rave reviews wherever the band lands.
To say the least, this youthful Canadian-born musician’s career has been unusual for a jazz artist. A graduate of Boston’s Berklee School of Music, she has tracked music for films, performed for a Lexus automobile commercial, sang duets with performers as diverse as Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney, appeared with Bennett on her husband’s television show, “Spectacles: Elvis Costello with…” and produced recordings for Barbra Streisand. She even sang, “Fly Me to the Moon” at the memorial service for astronaut Neil Armstrong in Washington, D.C. But again: don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamor. There’s real talent and real hard work behind each and every performance Krall gives.
To learn more about Diana Krall and hear samples of music from Glad Rag Doll, visitwww.dianakrall.com.