Turn Up The Quiet (Verve/Universal)
She wasn’t kidding with the album title, though this shouldn’t be read as some hushed, singer-at-piano record. For a start, the piano plays second (or third) fiddle often enough to fiddle and guitar.
Diana Krall and band (and strings) play with the lightest touch, even in the Hot Club-ish jauntiness of album closer I’ll See You In My Dreams, which amplifies the light swing and ever so pretty guitar chords of the opening Like Someone In Love.
Although it deliberately avoids the slight chill of studio crispness the sound is uncluttered and defined, the space inviting each instrumental exploration rather than just serving as a canvas for them.
The guitar sound of Russell Malone in particular is clear but never piquant and while I’d have tweaked the bass up a notch in a song such as Dream (I like my bass, what can I say, and Christian McBride is very fine), there’s a woody resonance that’s so easy to love. Take a few minutes with No Moon At All and you’ll agree.
While never falling back on the sometimes-false intimacy of whispering, or the injection of “feeling” – for which read an insecure over emphasis - to telegraph the romantic contexts, Krall sings with such a relaxed delivery that your ears fool you into thinking it is oh so quiet.
These songs, whose origins spread through the 20th century, can take more showy singing – which is fortunate, given how some over-singers have been known to mangle them in the past – but they clearly benefit from the ease and lightness here.
I could listen to Sway for a day and not tire of it and I’m Confession’ (That I Love You) is like one of those dancers who barely skim the floor as they swish by you.
Turn Up The Quiet isn’t the record for the night after a break-up; there are other torch-y song collections for that and Krall has never really been a singer given to much emotional drama.
Instead this is for a quiet evening in, either with someone you intend hanging onto for a while, or if you’re alone and in no hurry to change that either.