Sunday, April 5, 2009

FEEL GOOD MUSIC

Diana, allow me to explain my listening process. When I receive or purchase an album, in most cases I listen to it for weeks before I feel comfortable commenting about it. I rarely rely on my first impression because I want to be able to clearly express why a love or loath a recording. Those are a few self-imposed guidelines, which I vowed to adhere to.

Occasionally, however, I deviate, and trust my first impression. That may occur once a year. Yesterday, I purchased your new album “Quiet Nights”. Weeks ago, when I learned Verve Records planned to release your new album, I tried to get an advance copy to review copy. Your handlers referred me to several people who never responded to any of my emails. I bought the album at Targets. The album was on sale for $11.98 plus tax. That was a bargain, and I listened to “Quiet Nights” the same night.

I cringed when I heard the orchestra in the background on the opener “Where Or When”. I’m not a fan of orchestras backing jazz vocalists, or for that matter, any jazz musicians. All those instruments are disruptive. Vocalists end up competing against the orchestra. In the past, I’ve maintained that be bopper Charlie Parker was the only jazz musician that sounded good playing with an orchestra. After listening to “Quiet Nights”, I changed my mind. Diana, you made it work.

The accompaniment on “Walk On By,” and “You’re My Thrill,” added to the relaxed vibe you maintained throughout the album. You know how to set a mood, and never stray from it. I love how carefully you handle the piano. You have a wholesome manner like you playing around with a bunch of kids.

I became addicted to your voice in 2000. The year you paid tribute to Nat King Cole on your album “All Four You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio. That was my first Diana Krall experience, and I play the album so often I memorized the lyrics to every song. “All For You” is my second favorite jazz vocal album. Jazz Vocalist Sheila Jordan’s “Portrait of Sheila” is my first.

For years, I was a loyal fan, but that changed when you started winning music awards, selling a ton of albums, and wed a rock icon. You became a pop sensation so I withdrew my support. You put out a handful of awful recordings. You strayed so far off course I wondered if you'd ever find your way back. Eventually you returned to your roots, and you won me back with the released “Girl in the Other Room” and “From This Moment On”.

“Quiet Nights” felt like a cozy blanket. You have sound as if you’re in love with each song on the album. You’re a red-blooded romantic, indeed. Listening to “Quiet Night,” I felt as though you sang each song to me. I bet other people that experienced this album felt likewise. “Quiet Night” satisfied me and made me feel good all over, too.
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