Diana Krall Essay, Research Paper
Singer/pianist Diana Krall got her musical education when she was growing up in Nanaimo, British Columbia, from the classical piano lesson she began at age four and in her high-school jazz band, but mostly from her father, a stride piano player with an extensive record collection. “I think Dad has every recording Fats Waller ever made,” she said, “and I tried to learn them all.” In 1981 Krall won a Vancouver Jazz scholarship to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a year and a half she returned to B.C.. Legendary bassist Ray Brown, ex-husband of the late Ella Fitzgerald, heard her play in Nanaimo and persuaded Krall to move to L.A. and study with pianist Jimmy Rowles. “I loved hearing Jimmy sing Irving Berlin’s ‘How Deep is the Ocean’ so I decided to record it myself for Love Scenes.” She says. She lived for three years before moving to Toronto.
Now 32, the Canadian born vocalist/pianist who has resided in New York since 1992, because as she says “New York is a bigger challenge when it comes to jazz.” has found both critical and popular acclaim. Her album, Love Scenes, has gone gold in Canada (a remarkable feat for a jazz album), and earned her Grammy nominations.
Krall credits Tony Bennett for much of her success. “Well, he has been very kind to me personally. He is a great creative interpreter of the song just like Frank Sinatra was. I could analyze and break into phrasing and that kind of thing, but it comes down to respect for the song. Tony has it. I think he taught me that. I’ve listened to him ever since I was a kid.” As for Sinatra, “I was a huge, huge fan. It’s the end of an era. In his time, there was no one like him and I don’t think there ever will be again. I consider him the greatest pop singer of all time.”
Yet Krall is a true jazz talent. With a strong, clear-throated voice she is equally adept on the piano. Yet her greatest attribute may be her choice of material. She has the uncanny knack of finding the perfect torch song and making it her own. Whether it be Nat King Cole, George Gershwin or her wonderful rendition of David Frishberg’s ‘Peel Me a Grape’ the chestnuts sound effortlessly her own. “I pick songs I like. If I don’t like them, probably no one else will. Singing those old standards fulfills me. It’s a form of expression of how I feel, who I am.” This is a quote of hers I really liked and think it is quite accurate Good music never dies. It can’t be contained in one easy phrase. There really aren’t any comfortable compartments or boxes to fit it all in. It’s just good music.” She is saying that it isnt easy to classify any particular type of music.