DIANA KRALL: Quiet Nights (Label: Verve)

DIANA KRALL: Quiet Nights

The jazz jury’s never been unanimous about Diana Krall and this new album won’t help resolve the issue. Those who love the lady’s laid-back, laconic approach will lap up each and every one of the 12 tracks, while those who want a bit more risk and some attack will remain unrequited. Here Mrs. McManus returns to the formula that made her 2001 ‘The Look Of Love’ and 2006’s ‘From This Moment On’ such huge sellers. That’s to say the repertoire consists of tried and tested standards and with Tommy LiPuma in the production chair and Claus Ogerman arranging again the sound is polished, refined and faultless … even the cover artwork is airbrushed to chic glossy mag standards. There’s nothing out of place, and it’s my contention that that’s the way writers like Rodgers and Hart, Johnny Mercer, Lerner and Lowe and good ‘ole Burt Bacharach want/wanted their songs to be. Highlights? Well on the Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne ‘Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry’, Ms K breaths a real passion while the take on the modern standard that is Al Green’s ‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart’ works remarkably well. Even the ultra-familiar – like ‘The Boy From Ipanema’ and ‘Walk On By’ – offer new shadings and the inclusion of Jobim’s ‘Quite Nights’ sums up – both in title and sound – the album’s whole atmosphere. It’s all perfect, and to paraphrase another standard, maybe “too perfect for words” (not included here, by the way) and it’s that perfection that has drawn the barbs from some critics.
(BB) 4/5