From This Moment On Diana Krall
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- 1It Could Happen To You03:25
- 2Isn't This A Lovely Day?06:05
- 3How Insensitive05:20
- 4Exactly Like You03:02
- 5From This Moment On03:22
- 6I Was Doing All Right05:11
- 7Little Girl Blue05:38
- 8Day In Day Out04:01
- 9Willow Weep For Me05:40
- 10Come Dance With Me04:22
- 11It Was A Beautiful Day In August / You Can Depend On Me05:14
Info zu From This Moment On
“This album coincides with a happier time in my life. I think it’s very obvious in the music. It reflects how I’m feeling now, the joy that I have in my marriage and family, and hopefully in the future.”
It had only been a few days since singer and pianist Diana Krall publicly announced that she and husband Elvis Costello were expecting their first child. Her remarks may have primarily focused on her upcoming album, but it was easy to discern the rosy glow as she discussed imminent arrivals, and how she came up with the name for one of them.
“I already knew before we went into the studio the title of the record. I definitely knew it was going to be From This Moment On.”
Cole Porter’s romantic ode to great expectations (with its hip, heartening couplet, “No more blue songs/Only whoop-dee-doo songs”) could not be more apt a title track for Krall’s tenth album. From This Moment On is an eleven-song collection that captures the Canadian-born sensation in full swing, in great company, and at the top of her game. It could also be called her strongest, most cohesive release to date.
Krall is the first to admit that the album’s marked, upbeat theme was not originally her intention (“I never try to link tunes together or find songs that work together as a whole. It happens organically in the recording process, or not at all.”) But she does assume credit for knowing the songs she would be recording when she, her quartet and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra assembled for two weeks in Los Angeles’s famed Capitol Studios this spring.
“I didn’t really sit down with anybody prior to recording it and say, ‘I think I want to do this.’ I knew exactly what I wanted from the get go. I started writing down song titles last summer, but a lot of these tunes I’ve had in my back pocket for years. I’ve been working on ‘How Insensitive’ for about ten years. ‘Day In, Day Out’ I started working on when I was about 24. I mean these are all tunes that finally have found their place.
“Every tune has to have some sort of personal connection. But I didn’t want it all to be too upbeat – like ‘Willow Weep For Me’, which for me is more of a social comment, adds a question mark to that positive feeling.”
In songs, mood and delivery, From This Moment On reveals Krall’s personal ardor for that golden era of song-making, when Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and (especially) Nat “King” Cole were in their prime. It’s musical territory that Krall has often explored, but this album was certainly not a case of simply repeating past formulas: Krall’s A-team of support – producer Tommy LiPuma, engineer Al Schmitt and arranger/bandleader John Clayton – were on hand to ensure that inspiration was kept on an edge, unhindered by the studio environment.
“I’m not exactly working with people who are going to just say, ‘Oh it’s lovely, Diana.’ We never go an automatic pilot, you know? Sometimes I feel incredibly exposed during the recording process but fortunately I have the safety net of people whom I can listen to, and agree or disagree with. There’s nobody hanging over me and saying you have to do this or that. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t surprises and it can be an extraordinarily intense environment. The emotions can run high since people care so passionately about the music and what we are doing.”
Krall – for the few still unknowing – is the sensation whose cool, heavy-lidded vocals and strikingly sensitive piano-playing has helped her transcend barriers of genre to become a popular artist of the first order who has carved herself a permanent position at the top of the jazz charts.
The seeds of Krall’s crossover success are firmly rooted in her upbringing. Born in Nanaimo, Canada, to a musical family – her father is a stride-style pianist and serious record collector -- she grew up absorbing music that laid the foundation for her future growth. She attended Berklee College of Music in the early ‘80s, moved to Los Angeles where she continued her studies with the likes of bassist Ray Brown and pianist Jimmy Rowles, who convinced the young pianist to focus on her singing as well. By 1990, Krall relocated to New York City where she began performing on a regular basis with her trio. In 1993, she released her debut album on a small Canadian independent label.
Thirteen years later, she can look back over a stellar career path: in ’99, signed to Verve, her career exploded when When I Look in Your Eyes won a GRAMMY© for best jazz vocal and became the first jazz disc to be nominated for Album of the Year in twenty-five years. In 2002, The Look of Love was a #1 bestseller in the US and a seven-time platinum album in Canada. 2004’s The Girl in the Other Room, was her first to focus on her own songwriting – featuring six tunes co-written with her husband – and last year’s Christmas Songs proved one of the season’s best-sellers.
From This Moment On delivers Krall closer than ever to her musical aspirations and, in many ways, serves as a tribute to her heroes and mentors. One can detect her gratitude in a variety of musical moments.
“There’s a couple of pieces that I put Ray Brown into – like his introduction to Count Basie’s Little Darlin’ on ‘You Can Depend On Me’ -- and a lot of [vocalist/pianist] Shirley Horn was present in ‘Come Dance With Me.’ Our treatment of ‘From This Moment On’ came together after listening to [trumpeter/composer] Kenny Dorham’s version which I really love. I hear [arranger] Billy May especially in ‘Day In Day Out.’
“I have to mention Fred Astaire’s influence on ‘I Was Doing All Right’ – and in fact, all through the album. I listened to a lot of Fred with Oscar Peterson while preparing for this project, as well as watching a lot of his early movies, like Swing Time.'
“Do you know that great album with Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra, where he sings ‘Poor Butterfly’? ‘ Isn’t This A Lovely Day’ is very reminiscent of that. John [Clayton] wrote that arrangement at dinner the night before we recorded it. We were all sitting at a restaurant and he’s got a pad of paper. He was laughing and having the conversation and you see the wheels turning at the same time. And I loved playing piano on that. I think that’s my favorite piano work on the whole record – that, and ‘Exactly Like You.’”
Krall’s piano work and her arrangements – particularly on the album’s four quartet performances – are all standouts, as are a number of instrumental solos that she recalls with a marked fondness.
“That’s Gerald Clayton on piano on the title track -- he’s an amazing piano player and I think he played the hell out of that tune. I think Jeff Clayton’s alto sax solo on ‘Isn’t This A Lovely Day’ is a masterpiece -- definitely one of the highlights of the record. And Terell Stafford played the perfect trumpet solo right after that! He walked in, nailed it in front of the whole band, and I said ‘Terell, you sound like an old man.’ He’s only in his 30s! I meant it as the best compliment.
Krall is quick to point out that she is happy with everything on the album for different reasons, especially for the collaborative results. “I’m proud of tunes like ‘Exactly Like You’ specifically for every little note that [guitarist] Anthony [Wilson] plays, and simply for how the subtlety can work when we all play together, and how we all play what matters.”
“Playing what matters” could well be the subtitle to From This Moment On. There’s an economy and confidence that speak to the maturity of Krall as a performer, and a recording artist. “I really settled in with this record. I think I’ve let go of trying to prove something, and I wasn’t out to overplay solos. To just settle back into the bench and play those tough tempos and keep the solos simple and melodic and beautiful, and not have to pass a poll of some kind? That’s enough.”
From This Moment On is also a recording that cannot help but expose Krall’s feelings of being a wife and expectant mother. “It’s a reflection of who I am and where I am at this time. So I need to get that album out like now because that’s how I feel now. I don’t know how I’m going to feel six months down the road, so ‘Only whoop-dee-doo songs’? Yeah. Exactly.”
Some music is intended to paint a romantic scene – a candlelit dinner, a walk along a moonlit beach. Quiet Nights – Diana Krall’s twelfth album – ain’t about that. Using Brazil as a musical point of reference, the award-winning pianist and singer is not suggesting a night out; she means to stay in.
“It's not coy. It's not ‘peel me a grape,’ little girl stuff. I feel this album’s very womanly – like you're lying next to your lover in bed whispering this in their ear.”
She’s not kidding. From Krall’s refreshing version of “Where or When,” to an utterly soul-stilling rendition of “You’re My Thrill,” the ten songs on Quiet Nights are disarming in their intimacy. Even those already familiar with the breathy vocals and rhythmic lilt in Krall’s music – and now there are millions – will be taken aback by just how far the music pushes, unabashedly, into the realm of sweet surrender. “It’s a sensual, downright erotic record and it's intended to be that way.”
Krall is the first to credit the musical team she assembled – her loyal quartet, ace producer Tommy LiPuma, engineer Al Schmitt plus legendary arranger Claus Ogerman – for much of the seductive power on Quiet Nights. But there’s a deeper, palpable sense of maturity that she brought to the recording as well. “Most of my singing and playing on the album is really just first or second takes. ‘You're My Thrill,’ was a second take – “Too Marvelous,” first take.”
“She’s completely matured,” says Tommy LiPuma, who should know, having first worked with Krall in 1994. “Even in the past few years. She approaches her vocal phrasing much more like an instrumentalist than a straight singer. It’s in her reading of the lyrics, and the timbre of her voice, much more misty like Peggy Lee in her mature period.” (“I didn't want to over sing -- I was drawing also from Julie London very strongly on this album,” Krall confesses, noting that such influences are not always conscious on her part. “It just came out that way.”)
As such, the Brazilian focus of Krall’s new album could not have been a more natural next step. “She's been very sympathetic to this music for a long time,” notes LiPuma. “When we did The Look of Love, we were very much leaning in the bossa nova direction. Quiet Nights is really a celebration of this music. Diana sings three Brazilian classics, she rhythmically turned four standards into that style, and three ballads. So really there are ten songs on the album of which seven are just straight up bossa novas.”
It makes sense that Quiet Nights (also the English name of the bossa nova classic “Corcovado” that is the title track) draws much of its musical spirit from the land that puts the “carnal” into its annual Carnaval celebration. “I was inspired to do this record because of my trip last year to Brazil,” says Krall, who returned to Rio de Janeiro to shoot a concert for a new DVD release. “Then I just kept going back and found that everywhere you go you still hear the sounds of Jobim and bossa nova.”
For those who may not remember or weren’t yet around, Brazil’s bossa nova wave (literally “new bump” or “new way” in Portuguese) was the widely popular musical style, based on the country’s traditional samba rhythms, that swept up from the sidewalk cafes of Rio in the early ‘60s and seduced the entire planet with its hypnotic, swaying beats, sultry melodies, and new, exciting harmonies – all with generous room for jazz improvisation. Antonio Carlos Jobim (who composed “Quiet Nights” and “The Girl from Ipanema”) and Joao Gilberto (“Este Seu Olhar”) are two of the pioneers of the music, revered as national heroes in Brazil to this day.
Fifteen years later, she can look back over a stellar career path: in ’99, signed to Verve, her career exploded when When I Look in Your Eyes won a GRAMMY® for best jazz vocal and became the first jazz disc to be nominated for Album of the Year in twenty-five years. In 2002, The Look of Love was a #1 bestseller in the US and a five-time platinum album in Canada. 2004’s The Girl in the Other Room, was her first to focus on her own songwriting (with six tunes co-written with husband Elvis Costello); 2005’s Christmas Songs proved one of the season’s best-sellers; and 2006’s From This Moment On was an upbeat, critical success that coincided with the birth of her twin sons – a life-affirming event that LiPuma feels enhanced Krall’s continuing growth as a musician. “Motherhood definitely agrees with her—and marriage. I think she's really come into her own.”
As moving as Quiet Nights is -- deriving from Krall’s feelings for Brazil and bossa novas – the singer is not shy in admitting that its sensuality is as much about her home life. “It’s my love letter to my husband – just an intimate, romantic album.” As they say in Rio – obrigado!
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