She’s performed a variety of songs from the worlds of rock and pop, but on her latest album, Diana Krall goes back to her roots for a set of jazz standards. She returns to Reno for a show on July 22 at Grand Sierra Resort.
Those jazz standards are where Krall first made her name, but she’s not been afraid to experiment. She has covered Tom Waits’ “Temptation,” several songs by Joni Mitchell, and on the album “Glad Rag Doll” from 2012, mostly obscure songs from the earliest years of jazz, gleaned from 78 RPM records her family owned. She stretched out considerably on her 2015 album “Wallflower,” playing jazz versions of rock songs such as “I’m Not in Love” by 10cc and “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House.
This has led to Krall being one of the most popular current jazz musicians. She’s had eight albums that have hit the top of the Billboard jazz albums charts in their first week. She has also won three Grammy awards: best jazz vocal in 2000, best jazz vocal album for “Live in Paris” in 2003 and best instrumental arrangement with vocalist for “Quiet Nights” in 2010.
She was born in British Columbia, Canada and played piano since age 4. Krall was trained for several years at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston before leaving the school to move to Los Angeles and start her career.
A debut album on an indie label in 1993, called “Stepping Out,” earned the attention of jazz producer Tommy LiPuma, who helped get Krall a contract with esteemed jazz label GRP. After a second album in 1995, her first commercial breakthrough came with “All for You.” This album from 1996 featured songs made famous by Nat King Cole and the album sold a half-million copies. A follow-up the next year, “Love Scenes,” sold a million.
It was with her next series of albums that Krall earned a much larger audience. “The Look of Love,” a 2001 album on her now current label Verve Records, was a giant hit in her native Canada, selling seven million copies, while it also sold a million in America and went into the pop album top 10. The follow-up, “The Girl in the Other Room,” was released in 2004 and also made the American top 10 albums chart. “Girl” was the second of seven albums of Krall’s that have reached the top 10 in the American album charts.
“Girl” was also released after Krall married rock musician Elvis Costello. The two have since collaborated on several original songs that have made Krall’s albums, including “Girl.” In 2009, she was the co-producer, with LiPuma, for Barbra Streisand’s 2009 album “Love is the Answer,” which reached No. 1 on the album charts. The album featured Krall on piano on a set of jazz standards.