miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2015

Diana Krall, l'Antarctique


Article: Diana Krall: ‘I don’t remember what Woody Allen film I was in, but it was a life highlight’

Diana Krall: ‘I don’t remember what Woody Allen film I was in, but it was a life highlight’
The Canadian pianist and singer talks recovery, new album Wallflower, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, and why she is not detached and aloof – unless she doesn’t like you

Hi, Diana. Have you recovered from your bout of pneumonia? (1)

I haven’t fully recovered. It really knocked me sideways. I’m doing so much better now, but I’m in a really cold place – in my apartment in New York, trying to get the radiator to work. I’m hovering over it with my fingerless gloves on.

Talking of New York, you’re a Woody Allen fan. Have you seen him play the clarinet at the Carlyle?

The Carlyle is one of the few hotels left in New York where you walk in and feel like you could see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I did go to see him there once – I was planning on going again but I haven’t made it.

Has he asked you to appear in one of his films?

That would be my dream come true. Actually, I have been in one of his films. Yes! It was 12 years ago. I don’t remember what it’s called (2). Isn’t that stupid? All I know is I had a chance to play piano, and I had a chance to chat with him. It was the highlight of my life. I’ve been in a Michael Mann film, too [Public Enemies]. Every film I’ve been in I play a girl singer. I love Woody Allen. While I was sick I watched Manhattan Murder Mystery three times, and Crimes and Misdemeanors four times. It’s a masterpiece, like listening to a Miles Davis record.

Are you anything like Annie Hall?

That would be like comparing myself to Joni Mitchell. There’s nobody like that. She is one of the women who I hold in highest regard.

Is your life more Bananas or Husbands and Wives? (3)

I would say it’s more Morecambe & Wise lately. I’m Shirley Bassey singing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, putting her foot through the paper step (4). I’m a full-time mum with two boys [twins Dexter and Frank, 8], getting up at 6.30, taking them to school, making music, doing this and that. I get to talk to you about Woody Allen, which is pretty nice, but I still worry about what to cook for dinner.

What are you cooking for dinner?

Probably take-out. I have a long press day. No, I’ll probably cook salmon.

On your new album, you cover songs by the Eagles, Dylan, McCartney and Elton. You also do 10cc’s I’m Not In Love. Were you drawn to the tune, the words, or the groundbreaking production?

I just happened to have the single when I was growing up and liked it. I’m sorry if I sound touchy. Sometimes you do things and not think about them too much. There was no great statement other than I like these songs and I wanted to make a pop record, not a jazz record.

You also cover Alone Again, Naturally by Gilbert O’Sullivan. Lovely song. It’s about death, isn’t it?

It’s about someone who left you at the altar and you’re planning to hurl yourself off a cliff over it. Growing up in Canada, I listened to a lot of different music. Most of the songs on the new album are from my record collection.

Is the album a statement, saying these pop stars are on a par with the Great American Songbook types you covered on your 1993 debut, Stepping Out?

That’s totally not the point of this record at all. I wouldn’t even entertain a discussion about that because it’s impossible. You can’t compare them. It’s going to be interesting for Dylan – not that I’m comparing myself to him – to answer questions about his record because he’s doing Frank Sinatra songs (5). To answer your question: Elton John is as important to me as George Gershwin. So are the Beatles, so is Leonard Cohen, so is Joni Mitchell, so is Neil Young.

Do you discuss this stuff with Elvis Costello? (6)

Not really. We don’t sit around going, “Is Burt Bacharach as important as such-and-such?” We – me and my peers – do talk about our children’s generation and how much information they’re exposed to compared to when we just had radio and vinyl.

Didn’t you tour last year with Neil Young?

Yes, it was a protest tour, and it was incredible.

What were you protesting about?

The way the [oil] pipeline is being handled for the First Nations people. He’s one of my biggest influences. I got invited to go on tour with him. So I said, “Who else is on the bill?”, thinking there would be seven other people or something and I’d do 15 minutes. And they said, “No, it’ll just be you.” I was like, Oh my God. I started playing Gordon Lightfoot songs and Joni Mitchell. It opened me up to start thinking differently about stuff.

You toured with Tony Bennett in 2000. What did you think of his album with Lady Gaga?

It was great to show her fans she could do different things, and do it really well and passionately. Good for her.

If you stripped away the costumes and paraphernalia, would she be you?

Of course not. What do you mean, “Would she be me?” She’s got her own deal. I’m a very different artist to Lady Gaga. She actually reminded me a lot of Liza Minnelli. She’s much more dramatic than me. I’m not dramatic. That’s why I sit at a piano and I don’t stand out front of a big band.

You’ve been described as “detached and aloof”. Fair?

Well, if I don’t like you.


I don’t think that’s true at all. I’m terribly shy, and when I started out there wasn’t a Michael Bublé, there wasn’t another person like me who was doing what I was doing. I didn’t expect to have this level of success or fame. I wasn’t that young – I was 30 – but all of a sudden I was going on tour with Tony Bennett – holy shit! I’m locked in my bedroom listening to Bill Evans and Tony Bennett records and now I’m on tour with him.

What’s the best EC album?

I can remember [when I was young] driving in the car listening to My Aim Is True, and never thinking I’d marry him. For me every record is amazing, but the true masterpiece is Painted from Memory (7). Ask Barbra Streisand. I produced her record [2009’s Love Is the Answer] and she wanted to do My Thief. It’s incredible – emotional but complicated – and very difficult for any other singer to sing.

Would you be offended if your sons Dexter and Frank chose to put on Oliver’s Army instead of your song Abandoned Masquerade?

I think they should be listening to Pump It Up rather than tragic, brokenhearted love songs. They don’t need to be singing [Chet Baker’s] I Get Along Without You Well at this point. Actually, right now they’re into Chaplin. We sit down as a family and watch Chaplin movies.

Would you censor what they listen to? Would you turn off NWA?

I don’t know what that is.

They’re a gangsta rap group from the late-1980s.

Ask me that when that time comes. Right now they’re listening to The Immigrant Song and Jack White and I’m very fine with that.

You’ve met Barack Obama and the first man on the moon (8). What’s left to achieve?

I just want to be a really good mum. I feel pretty lucky to be where I am.

Nine gold, three platinum, seven multi-platinum albums, 15m sales … Who’s the breadwinner at home?

I didn’t even know that till you told me. I’m just mum. It’s an amazing family. We’re both out there playing music and doing what we love.

Have you been approached to do an At Home With the Krall-Costellos?

No, thanks. I’d love to do something like [Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s] The Trip, though. That you could twist my arm to do. The Trip to Italy was fantastic. Nothing to do with reality shows – I’m too private. But we have a great time. A very happy life. I’m very, very lucky. It’s a lot of fun in my house.

Have you ever held a dinner party where your music plays in the background?

No. We have dinner parties at other people’s houses where I play the piano, and we all sing. That’s one of my favourite things. At the last one I had Billy Connolly singing Wallflower [the title track of her new LP] with me. That was for my birthday. He’s also someone I hold in high regard.

Do you feel self-conscious meeting your heroes?

I met Bob Dylan and I didn’t know what to say, so all I said was, “I really liked the way you played piano.” He said, “Well, you should know. Because you’re a piano player.” I felt so humiliated!

That’s funny. Did you know that Alison Moyet once blurted out something she didn’t mean to say to your Elvis and she ended up – true story – not leaving the house for years, she was so mortified (9).

[Silence] That’s a little different. That’s slightly different. [Ruffled] I’ve got to pick up my children from school, so I must go.

1) She had to postpone the release of her new cover versions album, Wallflower, when she contracted the illness last October.

2) She appeared in a scene of 2003’s Anything Else, playing piano in a bar.

3) Bananas is one of Woody’s “early, funny” ones; Husbands and Wives a heavy, dark later one.

4) In 1971, during a performance on their show, Bassey did indeed put her foot through a flimsy staircase.

5) Shadows in the Night, released on 2 February.

6) She married Elvis Costello in 2003.

7) His 1998 team-up with Burt Bacharach.

8) Krall, who was a “total space nut” as a kid, met Neil Armstrong in 2009.

9) Moyet told the Guardian in 2013 that, after the incident, she “never accepted a music business invite again” and “became agoraphobic”.


Article: After rough year, Diana Krall blooms with 'Wallflower' (www.democratandchronicle.com)

After rough year, Diana Krall blooms with 'Wallflower'

Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY 4:10 p.m. EST February 2, 2015

(Photo: Bryan Adams)

NEW YORK — Diana Krall's voice sounds even more sultry than usual as she greets a visitor in a midtown recording studio. "My kids had colds, so now I have a cold," explains the singer/pianist and mother of 8-year-old twin boys.

As fans know, Krall's resistance has been down lately. Last September, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to postpone the release of a new album, Wallflower, initially due Oct. 14, and a tour that was set to launch Nov. 7.

Wallflower finally arrives this Tuesday, and Krall, 50 (though you wouldn't know it to look at her in a leather jacket and skirt) will hit the road Feb. 25, with dates scheduled through August. She feels ready, though she admits, "I'm a different person than I was. I have to watch my health."

Krall adds, "I've had a really, really tough year."

She's not just referring to the pneumonia. Krall's father died in December, after a long illness. When the subject comes up, her eyes well with tears. "It's been shattering," she says. "I'm shattered. I don't know what to say — it's too raw, too close to me still, to talk about it."

The tracks on Wallflower — new readings of pop classics made famous by, among others, the Eagles, the Carpenters, Elton John and the Mamas and the Papas, plus a previously unreleased tune by Paul McCartney — were obviously recorded before she lost her dad, though they have a sense of melancholy that is "always there," Krall says, in her music. "It's what I find truthful and beautiful."

Though known primarily for her interpretations of jazz and traditional pop music, Krall wanted to record "music that I share with my peers. ... I didn't want to do a jazz record." Wallflower was produced by a pop veteran with a jazz background: Krall's fellow Canadian David Foster, who also plays piano or keyboards on most tracks.

Diana Krall promotes her newest album "Wallflower." (Photo: Bryan Adams)

"It was a luxury, because I couldn't play piano like that," Krall insists. "He put the songs in really difficult keys. Now I'm cursing him, because I'm thinking, how am I going to learn to play them in those keys?"

Outside the studio, Krall's partner is Elvis Costello, whom she married in 2003. "I think it's such an incredible thing to be in our house," she says. Their work styles are different: "I have the jazz musician's curse of being hyper-sensitive to everything. Elvis can sit with the kids running around, in a totally cuckoo space, and focus."

Their sons, Dexter and Frank, play piano and congas and listen to all kinds of music, their tastes in rock ranging from the Beatles to Elbow. "They're also really into Adventure Time, which I love, and Over the Garden Wall," the Cartoon Network series.

"My life is all about Forbidden Planet and other cool things," Krall says. "They're at a cool age. Every age is, but they're really into discovering things. Frank came up to me the other day and said, 'You'll really like this show — it's got jazz in it.' This is how he's negotiating with me."

For all her eagerness to play live again, in fact, Krall says, "All my choices are impacted by the love I have for my family. ... It's important for you to do your work, but it's also been important for me to come home and read to my children and have the luxury of having time with them."

Before leaving the studio, Krall pauses at the door. "I hope I've said a lot of joyful things," she says, and exits smiling.