The first word that comes to mind after a few listens to the new Diana Krall album Turn up the Quiet is swing.
This record has that elusive musical element in spades. While Krall herself deserves an honourable mention for that achievement, so too do her bandmates, notably guitarists Russell Malone, Anthony Wilson and Marc Ribot, and bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride.
Occasionally one hears critics opine that Krall is a little bland. Well definitely not so on this set of songs, as she brings nuanced vocals, stretches words and phrases and stamps her individuality on even the most familiar of tunes.
There's a good mix of both material and settings on Turn Up the Quiet, with small group workouts to lush orchestrations on Cole Porter's Night and Day, and on Dream and Sway.
Our own Kiwi-born musician Alan provides the orchestrations as a writer, arranger and conductor, a combination with Krall which really pays off.
The small combo songs are really appealing, with either Ribot or Malone or guitar, and a very tasty fiddle workout on I'm Confessing (That I Love You).
This approach tackles Like Someone in Love, Moonglow, No Moon At All, Dream and I'll See You in My Dreams. Standouts. Every one.
I can't deny that I've been a long-time fan of Krall's and seeing her live in Christchurch a few years back demonstrated even moreso that my appreciation of both her vocals and her skills from the piano stool were more than justified. Turn Up The Quiet, her 14th album, raises the bar and again shows us why 15 million album sales are no accident.
Rating 5/5 stars