I fell in love with Diana Krall’s music before I knew she was from my island, Vancouver Island, in Canada. I could listen to her CD’s over and over and they still sounded fresh. She was one of the reasons I decided to pursue piano chords and jazz with a new passion when I was in my 40s.
Last night, at the Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio, California, I saw Diana Krall ‘live’!! This was a first for me. I’ve always been away when she plays in Victoria, my home town, and when I found out she was adding a concert to the end of her latest tour, and I was going to be in Palm Springs, I wasn’t going to miss it.
The band was all star. John Clayton opened one tune with his bow soaring across his bass, playing what sounded like something from the Bach Cello Suites, but it wasn’t. It was new notes with deep sonority and lush contrapuntal lines, some plucked, most bowed. Anthony Wilson was stunning on guitar and I watched the interplay between Diana and Anthony. Piano and guitar are both chording instruments and when they play in a band together they have to share. These two took sharing to another level. They always new who was dominant and who was enhancing the other. They supported each other’s riffs and when someone had a great idea the other immediately let them take over. It was fabulous. The sax (Joe Lovano) and drums ( Karriem Riggens) rounded the group out beautifully.
At the end of the concert we insisted on encores and they delivered. During the very last tune Diana started noodling, and slowly the band backed off until it was just her playing around with chords and riffs (the opening to Take the A train was one). She blended each familiar riff with a series of juicy chords and at one point, while she was playing, she spoke into the mic “I know you guys have to get home but I’m just enjoying all these diminished chords, they’re my favourite, you know. Thanks for indulging me”.