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Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Paul Wellman

Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl


Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Jazz Singer and Pianist Shows Great Range on Sunday, August 26


Even before Diana Krall began to play, her twin 5-year-old sons, Dexter and Frank, announced her presence backstage, as one of them cried out “my mommy!” to accompany her entrance. Krall has been married to Elvis Costello since 2003, and she now tours with her whole family in tow. Judging from her performance on Sunday night, all this togetherness is a great idea. The head cold that kept her sniffling and, at one point, hampered her yodeling, took nothing away from the warm, sensuous quality of her extraordinarily supple voice, nor did it detract from the powerful groove she maintained all evening on the piano.

Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Diana Krall at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Krall’s band, which includes Anthony Wilson on guitar, Robert Hurst on bass, and Karriem Riggins on drums, did a remarkable job of following her ever-shifting leads and finding exactly the right way to make each number work. Although she has a new album, Glad Rag Doll, due out in October, there were no previews of this upcoming T Bone Burnett–produced take on honky-tonk songs of the 1920s. Perhaps the closest thing to it was a marvelously swinging version of the Tom Waits classic “Jockey Full of Bourbon” off of Rain Dogs. Instead Krall mined the rich territory of her existing records, going to the Brazilian sounds of 2009’s Quiet Nights more than once and also exploring two numbers by Nat King Cole, the subject of her 1996 tribute album All for You. If the humming and whistling I heard from the audience on the way out was any indication, the night’s highlight was the first encore, a bluesy rendition of the Beatles’ “Come Together.” As Elvis and the kids bopped in the wings, Krall created a fully satisfying version of what she claimed was one of her childrens’ favorites. Go mommy!

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