Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet (Verve)

Diana Krall: “Turn Up the Quiet”
Diana Krall for Turn Up the Quiet album (photo by Mary McCartney)
Diana Krall (photo by Mary McCartney)
Diana Krall: "Turn Up the Quiet"

The album title is lifted from Paul Williams’ English lyric for Ivan Lins’ “Love Dance”—not one of the 11 standards filling Turn Up the Quiet, but an utterly fitting sentiment for this cashmere-soft collection. Playing and singing on all tracks and reunited with co-producer Tommy LiPuma, who died weeks before the project’s release, Diana Krall is in the mellowest of moods. She rarely raises her voice above a whisper, her self-accompaniment equally restrained. Even tunes typically handled with plenty of zest and verve—“Blue Skies,” “L-O-V-E,” “Sway”—are winningly tempered. Vocally she’s grown a shade duskier, a degree or two grainier and, in the process, more enticing, more alluring.

As Krall’s repose remains a constant (with a slight lift for the closing “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” delightfully inspirited by fiddler Stuart Duncan), joining her are alternating configurations of top-drawer bandmates. A core trio with Christian McBride (bass) and Russell Malone (guitar) is key to that gently ebullient “Blue Skies” and a gorgeously ruminative drift through “Dream.” There’s a quartet with Anthony Wilson (guitar), John Clayton (bass) and Jeff Hamilton (drums) that shapes the lust-fueled “Sway,” and a quintet with Duncan, drummer Karriem Riggins, bassist Tony Garnier and guitarist Marc Ribot that is essential to a deeply sensual “Moonglow.” Each group is unique in its approach, but the bespoke elegance, the understated potency of the musicianship, never varies.