My Favorite Singer Today: Diana Krall

Diana Krall a Grammy winning female jazz vocalists that sings many of the standards from the 1940s and 1950s.
Diana Krall a Grammy winning female jazz vocalists that sings many of the standards from the 1940's and 1950's.

One day while browsing through music clips at I stumbled across Diana Krall singing Cry Me A River and I knew she was no ordinary singer and musician.

The song was originally sung by the late Julie London in 1955  who is perhaps better known to this generation as head nurse Dixie McCall on the Emergency television series produced by her ex-husband Jack Webb.

There have been close to a 100 covers of the song but to me the best cover of it was when Diana Krall recorded it on her The Look of Love album released in September of 2001 a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Timely Release of Look of Love Album

It couldn’t have been released at a better time since it was the perfect easy listening album for a troubled time. The album was filled with slow ballads but Cry Me A River stood out among the many great songs on the album.

The musical interludes between the verses made the song special and the vocals by Diana were unforgettable. This one song turned me into a Diana Krall fan and have been one ever since.

The best way to tell if a music fan likes someone is if they buy their music and I bought not only her newest album but bought many of her albums going back to the early 1990’s.

Diana was born on November 16, 1964 in Nanaimo, British Columbia in Canada.

She took classical piano lessons at the age of four and was influenced by her father who was a piano player.

Influenced By Fats Waller, Nat King Cole

Diana Krall was influenced by pianists like Fats Waller whose albums were in her father’s record collection. She also was influenced by Nat King Cole and recorded  a tribute album in his memory.

When she released her When I Look In Your Eyes album in 1999 it would be break she was looking for. The album became an international best seller.

Won First Grammy Award

Then the album was awarded a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance and was the first jazz album to be nominated for Best Album in 25 years.

The album included songs from the great songwriters of the past like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Jimmy McHugh and included a novelty song Popsicle Toes a song I have never heard recorded in the past.

In 2002 she would appear in concert in Paris and made a DVD of the concert. I have this DVD and can say that this may be one of the best concert DVD’s ever made.

Live in Paris CD Also Released

There was also a CD made of this concert that includes the many great songs from the concert including The Look of Love, Let’s Fall in Love, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Fly Me To The Moon and Just The Way You Are.

The group with  Krall on piano,  John Clayton on bass, Anthony Wilson on guitar and Jeff Hamilton on drums all did their part to make this an excellent album but Diana’s vocals would have been great if there was only Diana playing the piano.

Anthony Wilson in particular stands out on the album. His guitar solos were outstanding.

Recorded Album of Mostly Originals

In 2004 she recorded her The Girl In The Other Room album and  it included more original material than her previous albums. Her husband Elvis Costello who she had married in 2003 co-wrote six of the songs with Diana and wrote one by himself.

She released a Christmas album in 2005 which very well could be the best new Christmas album in several years. Her rendition of I’ll Be Home For Christmas brings back memories of the three Christmases I missed while in the Army.

Back To American Songbook Composers

Diana would release her From This Moment On album in 2006 and it included songs from immortal songwriters like George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin from the American songbook.

The album ended her brief foray into original music for whatever reason as she went back to what had worked for her before.

Quiet Nights a Bossa Nova Album

Quiet Nights album was released earlier this year and it had a bossa nova influence with three Antonio Carlos Jobim songs included.

There is still some songs from American songbook writers Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, Jules Styne and Richard Whiting with Cahn and Styne and Mercer and Whiting collaborating on a song each in the album.

Diana Krall’s music signifies what easy listening music is all about. The orchestration in her music is superb with excellent engineering to achieve the best sound possible from her music.

Diana Krall Best Female Jazz Singer

In my book Diana is the best female jazz singer today and I am already looking forward to her next release.

Some of the following videos are great examples of her artistry on the piano and her polished vocals with excellent backing from her musicians.

The Look of Love is the title song from her album of the same name released exactly a week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This performance was in Paris when she recorded her Live in Paris concert DVD and album. John Clayton on bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums and Anthony Wilson back the excellent piano work of Diana and the haunting vocals.

Cry Me A River is my favorite Diana Krall song and this performance was also in Paris.

Diana picks up the pace in this version of I Love Being Here With You.

Diana singing So Nice from her Quiet Nights album.

Diana singing The Best Is Yet To Come with the legendary Tony Bennett.

Diana Krall was not an overnight sensation by any means since she has been recording since the early 1990’s but she should continue to record the music from the American songbook for many years.

She may be the main reason I love music from the 1940’s because she has brought it back for people like me who want to remember a simpler time when nobody had cell phones, MP3 players and air conditioners.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Singer Today: Diana Krall”

    1. I agree…When I listen to her sing it reminds me of the 40’s and 50’s. She respects Frank Sinatra, Fats Waller and Nat King Cole. A lot of singers today probably haven’t heard of Nat King Cole but she made an tribute album for him. Writing that article made get her last album out so I can listen to it this afternoon.

      Thanks for reading the article.

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