Diana Krall was home playing Wallflower at The Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver last night. The backdrop of photos and video art leant an ambience that brought you to another place and time. She is lovely, quirky and it feels so good to call her our very own. Definitely in our top five concert experiences. It has been a rough year for this princess of song and during an emotional moment she says ‘there are no tears in baseball and there are no tears in jazz.’ Diana sings about what is most important to her, family and love. May be her latest offering Wallflower is a compilation of 70’s heartbreak songs, but a broken heart never felt so good. A beautiful show from an amazing talent. – Fresh Independence
By: Elysa Gardner
Diana Krall’s voice sounds even more sultry than usual as she greets a visitor in a midtown recording studio. “My kids had colds, so now I have a cold,” explains the singer/pianist and mother of 8-year-old twin boys.
As fans know, Krall’s resistance has been down lately. Last September, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to postpone the release of a new album,Wallflower, initially due Oct. 14, and a tour that was set to launch Nov. 7.
Krall, 50 (though you wouldn’t know it to look at her in a leather jacket and skirt) hit the road Feb. 25, with dates scheduled through August. She feels ready, though she admits, “I’m a different person than I was. I have to watch my health.”
Krall adds, “I’ve had a really, really tough year.”
She’s not just referring to the pneumonia. Krall’s father died in December, after a long illness. When the subject comes up, her eyes well with tears. “It’s been shattering,” she says. “I’m shattered. I don’t know what to say — it’s too raw, too close to me still, to talk about it.”
The tracks on Wallflower — new readings of pop classics made famous by, among others, the Eagles, the Carpenters, Elton John and the Mamas and the Papas, plus a previously unreleased tune by Paul McCartney — were obviously recorded before she lost her dad, though they have a sense of melancholy that is “always there,” Krall says, in her music. “It’s what I find truthful and beautiful.”
Though known primarily for her interpretations of jazz and traditional pop music, Krall wanted to record “music that I share with my peers. … I didn’t want to do a jazz record.”Wallflower was produced by a pop veteran with a jazz background: Krall’s fellow Canadian David Foster, who also plays piano or keyboards on most tracks.
“It was a luxury, because I couldn’t play piano like that,” Krall insists. “He put the songs in really difficult keys. Now I’m cursing him, because I’m thinking, how am I going to learn to play them in those keys?”
Outside the studio, Krall’s partner is Elvis Costello, whom she married in 2003. “I think it’s such an incredible thing to be in our house,” she says. Their work styles are different: “I have the jazz musician’s curse of being hyper-sensitive to everything. Elvis can sit with the kids running around, in a totally cuckoo space, and focus.”
Their sons, Dexter and Frank, play piano and congas and listen to all kinds of music, their tastes in rock ranging from the Beatles to Elbow. “They’re also really into Adventure Time, which I love, and Over the Garden Wall,” the Cartoon Network series.
“My life is all about Forbidden Planet and other cool things,” Krall says. “They’re at a cool age. Every age is, but they’re really into discovering things. Frank came up to me the other day and said, ‘You’ll really like this show — it’s got jazz in it.’ This is how he’s negotiating with me.”
For all her eagerness to play live again, in fact, Krall says, “All my choices are impacted by the love I have for my family. … It’s important for you to do your work, but it’s also been important for me to come home and read to my children and have the luxury of having time with them.”
Before leaving the studio, Krall pauses at the door. “I hope I’ve said a lot of joyful things,” she says, and exits smiling.