PERFORMER: Diana Krall (p, v), Christian McBride (b), Peter Erskine (d), Russell Malone (g), etc; LSO, Los Angeles session orchestra/Claus Ogerman
CATALOGUE NO: 549 846-2
Diana Krall won the best female singer category in last year’s Down Beat readers’ poll, and she already has a deserved international reputation as a fine singer and excellent pianist. She has usually performed with her trio, but The Look of Love is a new departure for the Canadian musician.
Her record company has given her the Nat ‘King’ Cole treatment, with sumptuous orchestral backings and lush strings in an attempt to broaden her appeal. But of course, in this context there is less of her sparkling piano. She performs ten standard love songs, beginning with a soft-focus bossa nova version of ‘S’Wonderful’, her soft, sensuous voice intimately cushioned by strings, which also accompany her minimal piano solo.
The next two pieces have a similar treatment, but the fourth, ‘Cry Me a River’, is sung with passion, and her piano-playing is incisive. This dynamism breaks through on three or four other tracks; would that there were more.