September 19, 2006


Krall returns to her roots: As motherhood looms, Diana Krall releases a new disc and takes a break (ASHANTE INFANTRY, 9/19/06, Toronto Star)

Krall's 10th album has her back on familiar ground, reinventing jazz favourites such as "Willow Weep For Me," "Day In, Day Out" and "How Insensitive," and not contributing a single original composition.

"I just didn't feel like it," she says simply. "A couple of people said to me `You have to write one song for this record.' I thought maybe I would, but I just didn't get around to it. I was busy writing arrangements and working on other arrangements.

"If something doesn't feel right for me, then I don't force it. I've written a couple things, but they're too hard for me to sing. I had other singers in mind like Sarah Vaughan or somebody like that. There's one I'd love to hear Dianne Reeves sing, because it's like a standard kind of ballad."

Recorded mostly with the stellar Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, but also a quartet made up of long-time collaborators guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, From This Moment On is a classically swinging big-band effort.

"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 10 years. `Day In, Day Out' I started working on when I was about 24....

"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.

"If you choose to express yourself through other people's words and music, then you have to find different stories in it. I was just watching Frank Sinatra singing something and I said to my husband, `You just know he's thinking about Ava Gardener or something that he's lived.'

"When I listened to these songs when I was 15, I hadn't experienced a lot of the kind of the heartache and things that I hear in them now," she says. "Once you've got that story in your mind, then you can sing it, but it also changes over the years.

"With `How Insensitive' there was a line in there where I couldn't believe the concept that I would be singing how cold I was to leave him — I would never do that. And now I feel like well, you know, I could do that, though I don't mean in my current situation.

"That's the difference between someone who is a great singer and a jazz interpreter like Billie Holiday, who you just know lived it and more. There are certain songs I would never touch, because Billie Holiday owns them, that are so personal to her even if she didn't write them."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 19, 2006 12:00 AM

Thank the Lord. Her early stuff is wonderful, especially the Nat Cole Trio CD. Costello has been a malign force on her music.

Posted by: jeff at September 19, 2006 7:55 AM