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Irresistible Diana Krall, in a work tinged with sadness


Diana Krall, "Turn Up The Quiet" (Verve)

There's more than a little sorrow attached to Diana Krall's newest surefire favorite for her fans. Krall hadn't worked with producer Tommy LiPuma since 2009 before she recorded this last year. The two of them wanted to go back to the most intimate possible sound -- with trio, quartet, quintet and strings.

Tragically, LiPuma died eight weeks ago at the age of 80 before ever knowing how well their disc would be received.

To be frank, there is almost something too intimate about the way this disc was recorted. Krall's voice is TOO soft and breathy; her vibrato can sound too tremulous and fragile for comfort. On the other hand, the resultant gain in the quality of musicianship offsets it considerably. In particular, the trio composed of Krall on piano, Christian McBride on bass and Russell Malone on guitar is particularly choice.

All the guitarists here--Malone, Anthony Wilson and Marc Ribot- are special. Krall's best recent period is the one where she seemed to be learning the most from Joni Mitchell's way of singing standards (listen to Joni's masterpiece "Both Sides Now"). So too does the influence of her husband Elvis Costello's eccentric taste make some of her last few discs more "personal" than this one. But her fans will find it irresistible and for good reason, especially her acerbic pianism.

3 stars (out of four)


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