Miss Diana Krall gave a bravura performance in the Shed on the opening weekend of 75th season of concerts at Tanglewood. The show featured a crackerjack combo Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst (bass), and Karriem Riggins (drums) in support of an almost wierdly diverse setlist that visited many provinces of the jazz empire. While it wasn’t the sort of program Miss Mary Aspinwall Tappan had in mind in 1936, when she laid the family cottage (and 210 sylvan acres) on Maestro Koussevitsky (and the BSO), it was the sort we locals have become accustomed to while the BSO has become an increasingly important element of life in the Berkshires*.
Since her first Tanglewood apearance years ago, on a bill as Tony Bennett’s guest, when “show-stealing siren” could’ve been an apt description, Miss Krall has become a full-fledged star with a commanding stage presence and an easy rapport with the audience. That was especially evident during the solo portion of her two hour set when she led into several numbers with references to her parents; and talked about her 5 year old twins. (She made a surprise appearance just before their birth during husband Elvis Costello’s performance on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz during the 2007 Tanglewood jazz Festivl).
Miss Krall’s artistry is a melding of her voice and the piano; combined with her personality and musical sensibility, tonight’s two hour concert thouroughly satisfied. Her band was equally brilliant, bass and drums blending in primarily supportive roles, but bassist Robert Hurst had some prominence, including one passage where he brought a song home with descending notes until perfect silence was made to reverberate.
Guitarist Anthony Wilson alternated between solo and support all night, as well as being Miss Krall’s go-to guy in deciding the setlist. He played several leads and riffs that excited the audience, and altogether produced the perfect complimentary sound to Miss Krall’s.