Diana Krall
Stacey Kent

Jazz vocal

Diana Krall

© DR

Alongside Oscar Peterson, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young, Diana Krall is without doubt one of Canada's musical treasures. Three decades — already! — after her initial recordings, this singer and pianist hailing from Nanaimo has earned her place among jazz’s greatest voices. With elegance and sophistication in her timbre and phrasing, she continues to develop her refined and harmonically rich piano style.

Diana Krall transcends the typical boundaries of a rare, Grammy-collecting vocalist; she's an accomplished artist whose sources of inspiration span a broad spectrum. Reminiscent of the great Shirley Horn, she possesses the rare ability to masterfully blend the expressive nuances of her piano keys and her vocal prowess into sensual élans. Could she not also be the spiritual granddaughter of yet another great vocalist though? Was Nat King Cole himself not also a renowned pianist?

Diana Krall knows all the tricks in the Great American Songbook and has the gift to make its innumerable masterpieces her own, all while appearing to perform them like nobody else before her. The fact that the love of her life, none other than her husband Elvis Costello, is among the most respected English songwriters and rock musicians is like something out of a fairy-tale. Five years after her last appearance at Jazz à Vienne, the 21st century's First Lady Of Song is back — what a wondrous treat!

Stacey Kent

© Benoît Peverelli

Her singing style is similar to the way she speaks; it's refined, precise, gentle and flute-like — neither time nor the world has a hold on her. Her songs, which she performs with inimitable composure, are like follow-ups to a conversation with her listeners in France, a discussion they have been holding with the most Francophile of Americans for several years at this point. Since we first met her at the turn of the millennium, she hasn't hit a single wrong note. Stacey Kent has remained loyal to our impression of her: that of a singer sensitive both to words and melodies, of a performer who is simultaneously subtle and elegant, equally at ease with Great American Songbook standards, with her own repertoire — which she co-authored with her partner, saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, and with the now indispensable pianist Art Hirahara — and with Chanson française classics. In fact, the title of her latest album, Summer Me, Winter Me, was borrowed from a song by Michel Legrand. You'll likely hear some Jacques Brel too - with his 'Ne me quitte pas' translated into 'If You Go away' — one track below 'Under Paris Skies' ('Sous le ciel de Paris'), where lovers go... Stacey Kent celebrates love in French, English and even in her impeccable Portuguese. It's perhaps no surprise then that she names the superb João Gilberto as one of the artists who most influenced her. Both whisper tender, sober words of love into our ears.

Line-up :

  • Stacey Kent (vocals)
  • Jim Tomlinson (flute, saxophone)
  • Art Hirahara (piano)