The Girl in the Other Room
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
of Diana Krall may, at first, be
a bit taken aback by the latest from this talented and highly
regarded jazz pianist & singer, as The Girl in the Other
Room finds Krall doing what she's never done before: perform
her own work. In her past, Krall has made a name for herself through
her stunning renditions of previously written material, pulling
most of her work from the standards of Cole Porter, Nat King Cole,
Rodgers & Hart and others of similar classic ilk. Such a stray
from well-accepted jazz material and the subsequently "safe"
home she's found amongst more elitist jazz fans (those who continue
to shrug Norah Jones off as nothing more than a pop artist) could
be viewed as a departure from jazz itself, by some. But again,
this is a merely reactionary response.
Upon a listen to Krall's work here,
it's become quite evident that the years of studying the standards
has given her quite an understanding of just what it takes to
not only interpret what isn't generally considered jazz fare as
jazz fare, but also to sculpt a variety of original pieces
worthy of display amongst the very best of the standards. Interpretations
of pieces varying from Tom Waits' "Temptation" (The
Girl in the Other Room's first single), Joni Mitchell's "Black
Crow" and husband Elvis Costello's own "Almost Blue"
manage to maintain the concepts of the originals they are based
on. Yet, Krall's vocal delivery and piano work (as well as stunning
work from her backing band) also evolve these pieces far beyond
their original recordings ever let on.
Covers aside, where Krall's true
brilliance comes through on The Girl ... is in her originals,
penned as collabarations with husband, Costello. Given Costello's
recent foray into contemporary jazz with his own North
album and Krall's thorough understanding of jazz sound and theory,
songs such as "Narrow Daylight" and "I've Changed
My Address" come across as Krall at her most comfortable.
"I've Changed My Address" contains some of Krall's most
stunning piano work (check out that solo about halfway through),
coming across as completely natural but completely breathtaking.
In today's somewhat strange musical
climate where tastes are expanding much farther than any other
recent time (who'd have thought a country/jazz album from Norah
Jones could compete with the latest from Hoobastank!), Krall has
chosen the perfect time to completely spread her wings. And, with
The Girl in the Other Room she's proven beyond a doubt
that there's much more to her than an excellent voice and superb
interpretational skills. No one's ever doubted her as an artist,
but now it's all the more obvious that Krall is an artist with
quite a bit to say - ever so eloquently.
09-Jun-2004 10:20 PM
liked The Girl in the Other Room...
Stop This World
2. The Girl in the Other Room
4. Almost Blue
5. I've Changed My Address
6. Love Me Like a Man
7. I'm Pulling Through
8. Black Crow
9. Narrow Daylight
10. Abandoned Masquerade
11. I'm Coming Through
12. Departure Bay