Wallflower // Diana Krall
If listeners can set aside the hit original recordings, they'll likely get a lot of pleasure from Krall's listenable versions.
The debate over whether Diana Krall is or isn't a jazz singer can now pretty much be ended. Why? Not because she decided to record a songbook of popular '60s and '70s soft rock ballads that she says she has long wanted to do. Not because she also left her piano stool for most of the recording. Enough suspense? Krall ended the argument in a recent interview in the Montreal Gazette in her native Canada. Said she, "I don't consider myself a jazz singer." She affirmed, however, she's a jazz pianist, and that she sings better accompanying herself "playing jazz." She's right: check "Live in Paris." Jazz aside, Krall's soft, slightly sexy voice makes her a natural for the mostly-sweet, simple melodies and sentimental lyrics of 12 tunes, including "California Dreamin'," "Alone Again (Naturally)," "I'm Not in Love," "Superstar," and "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." If listeners can set aside the hit original recordings, they'll likely get a lot of pleasure from Krall's listenable versions. – Bob Protzman