Diana Krall Casts Her Sultry Spell at the Hollywood Bowl
At the Hollywood Bowl with Audrey Linden
Alan Bradbent and the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra opened the first half of the evening August 24th and 25th. Broadbent has a graceful, light and elegant style which gives some of his original arrangements a whimsical and airy feel. The Bowl’s shell came alive in vivid orange to the Latin, happy beat of “My Little Suede Shoes.” Broadbent wrote and dedicated his arrangement of “Where Is Love?” to Irene Krall. The vivid orange color changed to bright blue as we heard haunting violins which created the mood of things past. The feeling deepened into a reminiscence of sounds, and the blue hue became a deep magenta. The oboe and violins sang sweetly and deepened with the bass to a rich, fuller sound and then back again to the stirring sounds of the oboe and violins. The arrangement was stirring, sweet, with a touch of wanton sadness. “The Children of Lima” with a coral, pink color that flooded the shell started softly and built to a big, dramatic sound with an emphatic drum roll and ended with a gentle whoosh of a flourish. He ended with a tribute to Miles Davis in his Variations to Miles Davis, “Milestones.”
Diana Krall, Canadian jazz virtuoso, singer-songwriter-pianist, who came to Los Angeles at age 19 to study, was a piano student of pianist Jimmy Rowles. it was Rowles who encouraged the young Krall to also focus on her singing. She is a gifted and superlative jazz pianist and shows such sensitivity and feeling as her fingers dance over the ivories. I loved the close ups of her hands on the Steinway. This is where the big screens at the Bowl enhance the performance. At times her fingering was rapid and intense, and at other times her finger tips barely touched the keys but gently whispered over them.
Krall has the ability to become one with the piano, and she shines in improvised jazz. The songs come to her as she riffs with the trio. Anthony Wilson on guitar, Karriem Riggins on drums, and Robert Hurst III on bass breathe with Krall, and they work beautifully in sync with each other. Krall is a generous performer and gives her trio time to shine in their solos. Their synchronicity was magical.
Krall, in a simple wrap of a black sheath and strappy heels walked on stage to thunderous applause. The shell was contrasted in red and blue to her smoking jazz tribute to Nat King Cole’s “I Just Found Out About Love.” Wilson’s guitar playing was hot and “smoking.” Her breathy, earthy “Do It Again” had a touch of naughtiness and playfulness that is her signature. “Please, do it again, and again, and again, again.” She gave a new meaning to Buddy De Sylva and George Gershwin’s hit song. Her interpretation of Johnny Mathis’ “So Nice,”(Samba de Verao) had the perfect light samba feel to it.
Krall’s patter was to a minimum, unlike last season at the Bowl when she established a rapport and had told us about her children, parents and husband, Elvis Costello. This was a quieter Krall who gave more to her playing and singing. She seemed very comfortable and at ease. “I’ve come home here with my family.” “They have front seats.” Krall did a whimsical “Let’s Fall In Love,” the well-known Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler song, and added a little interlude of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” from My Fair Lady filigreed in between. Krall puts her mark on her songs with her unusual pairing and phrasing.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic joined her in another “My Fair Lady” standard, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face.” I’ve heard this song done Broadway bright and sweet, but Krall’s take was sultry, and sexy. Very different. Her fingers skimmed lightly over the keyboard barely touching the keys.
Krall told us she had a gig accompanying silent movies as a teenager in Canada on weekends. Playfully, she demonstrated a little “silent movie” music. She and the wonderful trio did an upbeat Nat King Cole classic, “Deed I do,” (written by Fred Rose and Walter Hirsch). Dorothy Fields and Jimmy Mc Hugh’s “Exactly Like You” was done in a sublime, saucy style. Krall wove rich images in Hammerstein and Kern’s unusual ballad, “The Folks Who Live On The Hill”. Those lyrics were so stirring. Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate” was an unusual choice but beautifully performed. She did Carlos Jobim’s, famous bossa nova, from his 60’s “Corcavado” or “Quiet Night”. The arrangement by Claus Ogerman won him the Grammy as best arrangement for a vocalist in 2010. There was an about face in another tribute to Nat King Cole in the very playful, “Pick Yourself Up” ( Kern and Fields) with an arrangement by Johnny Dayton. Broadbent and the orchestra joined Krall and together, they made for beautiful music.
The orchestra also blended beautifully in Victor young and Edward Herman’s “Love Letters” in a stellar arrangement by Claus Ogerman. Krall’s “Cheek To Cheek” was done in a fast, uptempo way I have never heard before. It was almost frenetic and the trio jammed and went wild. I was bouncing in my seat with the rest of the audience. That led to the Beatles’ “Come Together.” Krall was “coaxed” into an encore with Burt Bachrach and Hal David’s classic “The Look of Love.” As she stood up to an audience on its’ feet with applause, she commented, “You’ve been a tremendous audience, so generous.” And, the same could be said of you, Diana Krall. She also was tremendous and generous of talent and spirit, as was her fabulous trio. It was such an enjoyable evening!
The Hollywood Bowl has many more wonderful programs for your entertainment in September. With blues by B. B. King; Bramwell Tovey and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an evening of music and humor with You Tube madcap virtuosi, Igudesman & Joo; an evening of fireworks Spectacular with Tchaikovsky; Sarah Chang, violinist in a special “West Side Story” for violin and orchestra; Itzhak Perlman; Grammy winner Brian Setzer; a family sing-along to “The Sound of Music” and more. You won’t want to miss these evenings as the summer fades. Check the schedule on line.
For tickets and show times call 213-850-2000, 800-745-3000 or go online to www.hollywoodbowl.com . Check out the “park and ride” information on line.
Audrey Linden is a writer, actress and singer. She can be seen in a long-running “Associated Tax Resolution” commercial, two “Little Caesars” spots, a “Teva International Pharmaceutical” short, Gene Simmons’ “Family Jewels,” “America’s Court with Judge Ross,” VHS “Tough Love 2,”etc.
Audrey teaches ON CAMERA COMMERCIAL WORKSHOPS through the City of Beverly Hills, Community Services. Her classes are held at 241 Moreno Dr. B.H. 90212. The next class starts September 20th. For more information, contact Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org . Register on line at www.beverlyhills.org/regonline Click on “Activities” and put COURSE # 19245 in the SEARCH box. Call 310-285—6850 to get a pin # or have them fax or email a form.
The class in for 8 weeks @ $118 from 6:45-9:15 PM ($5 materials fee payable to instructor first night).