Diana KRALL – When I Look In Your Eyes 1999

Diana KRALL – When I Look In Your Eyes 1999

Jazz

Diana Krall’s previous release, Love Scenes, occupied the top spot on all the major jazz charts for many months and was the first jazz album ever to be certified platinum (100,000 units) in Canada. Diana’s phenomenal success is due not only to her obvious musical talents, but those of producer Tommy LiPuma as well. LiPuma (remember George Benson’s record-breaking Breezin’ album?) is a master at presenting contemporary jazz artists in a manner that appeals to hard-core jazz fans and casual listeners alike. Although When I Look In Your Eyes adds a couple of new “wrinkles” to his recipe for success, I see no reason why this terrific CD shouldn’t prolong Krall’s/LiPuma’s winning streak. It marks Krall’s departure from her standard trio setting with the addition of string and orchestral “sweetening” by the noted arranger/conductor Johnny Mandel. Thankfully, LiPuma has the good sense and “smarts” to place Krall’s subtle, seductive voice front and center in the mix. The orchestrations never overpower Diana’s fluid piano solos or intrude on the vocal nuances she extracts from the timeless classics on this 12-track collection. Subtlety really is the key here
By John Sharpe. AAJ.
**
Years after the ’90s, the decade will be remembered for the rise of pianist-vocalist Diana Krall. Simply put, this British Columbian-born artist is one of the most engaging musicians to emerge from the heap of scat-happy singers high on pyrotechnics, but short on poetry. Stamped with the imprimatur of the Nat King Cole trio and blessed by her apprenticeship with the late West Coast piano giant Jimmy Rowles, Krall simply sings songs the way they’re supposed to be sung: with devotion to the lyric and with attention to the groove. This CD finds Krall in familiar company with compatriots Russell Malone (on guitar), bassist John Clayton, drummers Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton, and vibraphonist (and former Bill Evans associate) Larry Bunker–all supported by Johnny Mandel’s svelte string arrangements. Krall and crew take Irving Berlin’s chestnut “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and the Sinatra-signatured “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” south to Brazil via a sexy bossa nova. Malone’s lush guitar accompaniment complements Krall’s heartfelt delivery on “When I Look in Your Eyes,” and Michael Franks’s “Popsicle Toes” dances courtesy of Hamilton’s drum work. “Devil May Care,” “East of the Sun (and West of the Moon),” The Best Thing for You,” and the stridish “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love” groove with a minimum of waste, while Mandel’s simpatico strings steal the show on “I’ll String Along with You,” “Pick Yourself Up,” and “Do It Again.” All of which further illuminate the cool fire from this fine gift from North of the Border.
By Eugene Holley Jr. AMG
**
With this CD, the young Canadian singer/pianist/arranger joins forces with producer Tommy LiPuma, who places his orchestral stamp on eight of the 13 tracks. It is the latest attempt to push Krall to an even wider pop/smooth jazz audience than she already enjoys. After all, Nat Cole, Wes Montgomery, and George Benson, among others, went this route. Wonder if she’d agree the cuts sans strings were more fun and challenging? Krall does get to it with central help from bassists John Clayton and Ben Wolfe, drummers Jeff Hamilton and Lewis Nash, and guitarist Russell Malone, all stellar players. Krall’s voice is sweet and sexy. She’s also flexible within her range and at times a bit kitschy, mostly the hopeless romantic. On this CD of love songs, it’s clear she’s cool but very much in love with this music. Bob Dorough’s “Devil May Care” and the insistent “Best Thing for You” really click. Favorites are a decent Shearing-esque “Let’s Fall in Love” with vibist Larry Bunker; a suave slow bossa on the opening number, “Let’s Face the Music”; the lusher-than-lush title track; and especially an incredible horn-fired fanfare intro/outro on the hip “Pick Yourself Up.” Some might call this fluff or mush, but it depends solely on your personal taste. This will certainly appeal to Krall’s fans, lovers, and lovers at heart.
By Michael G. Nastos, AMG.
**
Diana Krall- Vocals, Piano
Ben Wolfe- Bass-  (tracks: 2, 6, 8, 9) ,
John Clayton- Bass (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 10 to 12)
Jeff Hamilton- Drums (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 10 to 12) , Lewis Nash (tracks: 6, 8)
Russell Malone- Guitar
Larry Bunker- Vibraphone (tracks: 3, 6)
**
01. Let’s Face The Music And Dance 5:18
02. Devil May Care 3:20
03. Let’s Fall In Love 4:19
04. When I Look In Your Eyes 4:31
05. Popsicle Toes 4:28
06. I’ve Got You Under My Skin 6:10
07. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love 2:33
08. I’ll String Along With You 4:45
09. East Of The Sun (And West Of The Moon) 4:56
10. Pick Yourself Up 3:01
11. The Best Thing For You 2:36
12. Do It Again 4:45
13. Why Should I Care 3:46
**

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