Jazz chanteuse Diana Krall returns to Van Wezel in Sarasota

'Glad Rag Doll' is one of her most acclaimed albums ever

mclear@bradenton.comApril 4, 2013 

She specializes in the kind of quiet, smoky, intimate music that's usually best late at night, in little jazz clubs that not a lot of people know about.

But Diana Krall has become one of the biggest stars in music simply by playing and singing that type of music very, very well, with impeccable musicianship and her chillingly gorgeous contralto voice.

In fact, even though she's considered a jazz musician, which should confine her to a niche fan base, she's every bit as popular as her genre-bending rock star husband Elvis Costello.

If you're a fan, you probably already bought your tickets for Krall's concert tonight at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. If not, seeing her perform live could easily turn you into a Krallaholic.

Krall has recorded 10 albums in the course of her career, and they've all been well received by the public and roundly praised by critics. Her latest, "Glad Rag Doll," has likewise pleased her fans and thrilled reviewers, even though it's a stylistic break.

In the past, Krall has largely been known as an impeccable jazz-influenced interpreter of classic songs. On "Glad Rag Doll," which was produced by T-Bone Burnett, who's definitely not a jazz or standards kind of producer, she focuses on more obscure songs, mostly from the 1920s and '30s. Krall has said she learned the songs from listening to her father's collection of 78 r.p.m. records. There's more of a blues, even Americana feel than she explores any of her previous albums.

Probably the best-known song on the album is "Lonely Avenue," an R&B hit penned by Doc Pomus.

Scott C. Thompson, reviewing the album for the roots music magazine No depression, wrote "Pomus' tune has been covered by countless artists over the years, including Ray Charles, who had a hit with the song in 1956, Joe Cocker, The Animals, Taj Mahal and even Jimmy Hendrix. I prefer Krall's version."

Krall's Van Wezel concert should have plenty of material from "Glad Rag Doll," which came out in October of last year. But she has a long history of great material, so expect to hear her sultry and glorious renditions of such songs as Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You," Lerner and Loewe's "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face" and Bacharach and David's "The Look of Love."

Details: 8 p.m. April 4, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets $30-$115. Information: (941) 955-7676 or www.vanwezel.org.

Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.

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