Krall, a gifted pianist as well as a singer, punctuates her vocal performances with brief piano interludes. These solos, just about the only instances of improvisation on the album, don’t do much to shake things up, but fall right into the hazy, dreamy scheme of the record. Each solo is precious and simple, played exclusively in the piano’s upper register, invoking the nostalgic and somewhat maudlin sound of a music box.
The slow, hushed tone of Quiet Nights is one that Diana Krall, with her silky voice and pop sensibility, could use to sculpt something beautifully intimate. However, intimacy, although approached constantly, is never actually reached. A good vocal performance can evoke subtle emotions, and can draw the listener in a unique way. Instead, Krall’s evocations sound manufactured and deliberate.
For people who want nothing more from music than to provide lovely background music that requires little attention, Quiet Nights is perfect. For those who would like something more, this record should be overlooked in wait for something of Krall’s that is more honest and expressive.
March 31st, 2009 on Verve Records
- Diana Krall – Voice and Piano
- Anthony Wilson – Guitar
- John Clayton – Bass
- Jeff Hamilton – Drums
- Paulinho Da Costa – Percussion
- Where or When
- Too Marvelous for Words
- I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face
- The Boy From Ipanema
- Walk on By
- You’re my Thrill
- Este Seu Olhar
- So Nice
- Quiet Nights
- Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry