Born into a musical family in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Diana Krall began her musical journey during early childhood. While her mother sang in church, her father, a stride pianist with an extensive knowledge of jazz and Tin Pan Alley standards, had a massive record collection that introduced her to many of the jazz and pop greats that would inform her own musical development.
"I was immersed in music growing up," Krall recalls. "My father has a vast collection; he collects 78 records, and that's how I first heard Fats Waller, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. I connected with music on such an emotional level that it wasn't 'This is what I want to do,' it was 'This is what I have to do.'"
Krall began studying piano at the age of four, and subsequently played in her high school's jazz band. At 15, she began playing regularly in restaurants and bars around her hometown. At 17, she won a scholarship from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Meanwhile, Krall's playing attracted the admiration of legendary bassist Ray Brown, who suggested that she move to Los Angeles to study with seminal pianist Jimmy Rowles. It was during that period that Krall began singing as well as playing. In 1990, after a three-year stint in L.A., she relocated to New York, where she began performing with her own trio.
Krall began her recording career in 1993 on Canada's Justin Time label, releasing her first album Stepping Out, recorded with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, a pair of jazz heavyweights who would remain longtime Krall collaborators. The debut disc reached Number Three on Billboard's jazz chart and caught the attention of noted producer Carl Griffin and veteran producer and label exec Tommy LiPuma, who signed her to GRP Records and produced her sophomore effort, 1995's Only Trust Your Heart. That album teamed Krall with a prestigious musical cast that included Ray Brown and Stanley Turrentine, and marked the beginning of a long and productive association with LiPuma, who would continue to produce Krall's albums for GRP, Impulse! and Verve.
Krall's third album was the acclaimed 1996 Nat "King" Cole Trio tribute All for You: A Dedication to the Nat "King" Cole Trio, which spent 70 weeks on the Billboard jazz chart and won the artist her first Grammy nomination. 1997's Love Scenes, recorded with guitarist Russell Malone and bassist Christian McBride, was an even bigger hit, reaching the top slot on the Billboard jazz chart and making unexpected inroads into the mainstream market.
Krall achieved both a musical breakthrough and a commercial watershed with her 1999 release When I Look in Your Eyes. The album broadened her sound, employing an expanded instrumental ensemble as well as orchestral arrangements by Johnny Mandel. When I Look in Your Eyes became an international sensation, going platinum in the United States and spending an entire year in Number One position the Billboard jazz chart. In addition to winning Krall a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, it also became the first jazz album in a quarter-century to receive a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. Krall's crossover success was further reflected in her participation in the historic Lilith Fair tour in 2000, and the prominent presence of her songs on the soundtracks of TV's Sex in the City and such films as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Krall maintained her expansive musical approach for 2001's The Look of Love, a lush collection of ballads and bossa novas featuring arrangements by Claus Ogerman and tracks recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. The album confirmed Krall's status as a pop-culture phenomenon, achieving platinum status and reaching Billboard's pop Top 10. Her 2001 performance at the Paris Olympia was released as her first live album, Live In Paris, which once again topped the Billboard jazz chart and earned Krall her second Grammy award.
In 2004, Krall released The Girl in the Other Room, the first album on which she added her own compositions to her repertoire of standards and covers. Krall wrote half of the album's dozen songs, with lyrical contributions from Elvis Costello, whom she had married in December 2003. The move towards original songwriting was motivated in part by the death of Krall's mother, as well as the losses of her mentors Ray Brown and Rosemary Clooney.
Krall describes The Girl in the Other Room as "a very intense and creatively satisfying experience. After I lost my mother, I was not able to return to a lot of the songs I really loved, because I just wasn't feeling them. So I needed another way to express myself."
2004 also saw the release of the concert DVD Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival, as well as Krall joining Ray Charles on his bestselling Genius Loves Company for a duet of the Charles standard "You Don't Know Me."
In 2005, Krall released the holiday-themed Christmas Songs, a collection of spirited seasonal standards. Recorded with John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton's esteemed outfit the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, the album marked her first venture into big-band arrangements.
Krall returned to the Great American Songbook, while maintaining the big-band format, on 2006's From This Moment On. A typically engaging mix of bittersweet ballads and effervescent swing numbers, the album was another Top 10 smash, while demonstrating Krall's ongoing determination to embrace new musical challenges.
Also in 2006, Krall teamed with Tony Bennett to revisit "The Best Is Yet to Come" on Bennett's all-star Duets: An American Classic. Krall and husband Elvis Costello topped off the year with the birth of twin sons.
While The Very Best of Diana Krall offers a sampling of her prior musical achievements, Diana Krall is firmly focused upon the future. "I can sing different songs now, because I'm a mother and a wife and I have different experiences," she notes. "And there's some songs that I can't sing anymore, because they were right for me then but not right for me now. It's been interesting doing a best-of record and looking back at what I've done, and reliving all the emotions that go with that. But I prefer to move forward."
Photo by James O'Mara
Il primo video - in assoluta anteprima - in attesa di WALLFLOWER, il nuovo album della cantante/pianista/songwriter in uscita il mese prossimo
L'album (nelle versioni standard e deluxe) uscirà a metà settembre, ma già da oggi puoi acquistare il brano "California Dreamin'"!
L'album uscirà per Verve Records il 9 settembre, e si intitolerà 'WALLFLOWER'
La grande cantante-pianista presenta il programma del suo ultimo album. E in piazza IV novembre c'è Gianluca Pellerito