Diana Krall is one of the most acclaimed jazz singers and pianists of our time. She has won multiple Grammy and Juno awards, sold millions of albums, and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, such as Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney, and Elvis Costello. In this blog post, I will explore some of the highlights of her career and share my personal appreciation for her artistry.
Diana Krall was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, in 1964. She grew up in a musical family, with her father playing piano and her mother singing in a choir. She started playing piano at the age of four and was exposed to jazz by her father, who had a large collection of records. She also listened to pop and rock music, such as Elton John, The Beatles, and Carole King.
She began performing professionally at the age of 15, playing piano in a local restaurant. She also sang in a jazz trio and won a scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, she met her mentor, bassist Ray Brown, who encouraged her to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in jazz. She also studied with pianists Jimmy Rowles and Alan Broadbent, who influenced her style and repertoire.
In 1990, she moved to New York City and signed with GRP Records. She released her debut album, Stepping Out, in 1993, which featured her trio with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The album received positive reviews and showcased her skills as a pianist and arranger. She followed it with Only Trust Your Heart in 1995, which was produced by Tommy LiPuma and featured saxophonist Stanley Turrentine.
Her breakthrough came in 1996 with All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio, which paid tribute to one of her biggest influences. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance and stayed on the Billboard jazz chart for over a year. It also introduced her distinctive vocal style, which was warm, intimate, and expressive.
She continued to work with LiPuma and released several successful albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as Love Scenes (1997), When I Look in Your Eyes (1999), The Look of Love (2001), and Live in Paris (2002). These albums featured her interpretations of classic standards and pop songs, as well as some original compositions. She also collaborated with orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
She married singer-songwriter Elvis Costello in 2003 and had twin sons in 2006. She took a break from recording and touring to focus on her family, but returned with From This Moment On in 2006 and Quiet Nights in 2009. These albums marked a return to her jazz roots and featured more upbeat and swinging arrangements.
In 2012, she released Glad Rag Doll, which was produced by T Bone Burnett and explored songs from the 1920s and 1930s. She followed it with Wallflower in 2015, which was produced by David Foster and covered songs by Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Eagles, and others. In 2017, she released Turn Up the Quiet, which reunited her with LiPuma and featured duets with guitarists Russell Malone and Marc Ribot.
Her latest album is This Dream of You, which was released in 2020. It is a collection of songs that she recorded with LiPuma before his death in 2017. It features her quartet with guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton Jr., and drummer Karriem Riggins, as well as guest appearances by Alan Broadbent, Christian McBride, Tony Garnier, Stuart Duncan, Randall Krall, Jeff Hamilton,
and Steve Schaeffer.
Diana Krall is one of my favorite artists because she combines musical excellence with emotional depth. She has a unique voice that can convey both joy and sadness, as well as a refined touch on the piano that can swing or caress. She has a great respect for the tradition of jazz but also a curiosity for new sounds and styles. She has created a rich and diverse body of work that reflects her personality and passion.