Canadian singer Diana Krall has released a new album 'Glad Rag Doll', which sees the singer move into swing territory and serves up a collection of beautifully interpreted standards.
Diana Krall's latest studio recording is 'Glad Rag Doll'. Unlike Krall's recent work, which has included versions of well-known jazz standards, her latest album covers mainly jazz tunes from the 1920s and 1930s. These less well known numbers, according to the New York Times, were taken from Krall's father's collection of 78-rpm records. The selection of tracks makes this far more of a song-and-dance record than with Krall's previous album 'Quiet Nights'.
Diana Krall is a renowned Canadian jazz pianist and singer, famed for her contralto vocals (the deepest female classical singing voice). She is married to the British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello. She has won two Grammy Awards and has, to date, had eight albums in the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, including seven number ones.
The album opens with a mid-paced number 'We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye', which has a speakeasy cool vibe to it and which quickly had this reviewer's toes tapping. The bass on the track was particularly impressive and have the music a sense of flow. This was overlaid by Krall's pitch perfect piano playing. The entire musical accompaniment gave a sense of a night time embrace between two lovers.
Another standout track is 'Just Like a Butterfly That's Caught in the Rain', which is where the music increases in tempo and moves into swing. Here the music could easily dominate. However, Krall's ethereal, almost breathy, vocal shines through.
The title cut, 'Glad Rag Doll', is a more initiate affair with Krall's sultry vocals standing out strong, accompanied by acoustic guitar. Although most of the tunes fall in the jazz-swing tradition, on 'I'm a Little Mixed Up' Krall's piano playing veers towards rockabilly or proto rock-and-roll.
For this review, however, the best track on the album is devastating 'Lonely Avenue', which, through a devastating vocal, captures the spirit of the lonely people so often depicted in an Edward Hopper painting.
'Glad Rag Doll' takes Krall in a slightly different direction and its stands well against her impressive back catalogue. It is an album richly laced with warmth, sophistication and humor, and provides an evocative night-time listening pleasure.
The new album was produced by producer T-Bone Burnett. Krall's husband guests on the album, playing guitar and mandola, using one of his many pseudonyms. This time Costello calls himself Howard Coward.
The track list for the new album is:
1. "We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye"
2. "There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth the Salt of My Tears"
3. "Just Like a Butterfly That's Caught in the Rain"
4. "You Know – I Know Ev'rything's Made for Love"
5. "Glad Rag Doll"
6. "I'm a Little Mixed Up"
7. "Prairie Lullaby"
8. "Here Lies Love"
9. "I Used to Love You But It's All Over Now"
10. "Let It Rain"
11. "Lonely Avenue"
12. "Wide River to Cross"
13. "When the Curtain Comes Down"
Krall is currently embarking on a world tour. She took a detour on September 13, 2012, to perform 'Fly Me to the Moon' at astronaut Neil Armstrong's memorial service in Washington, D.C.
'Glad Rag Doll' was released on October 2, 2012 in the U.S. and on October 15, in the U.K.. It is available on Verve records.