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By any standard this five-time Grammy® winning jazz pianist and vocalist is one of the most accomplished and distinctive musicians in the world today. Respected far and wide as a wildly successful recording and performing artist, Krall remains a true musical force. At any given moment she could be producing Barbra Streisand’s new album, serving as musical director and arranger for Paul McCartney or hitting the road for a good cause with Neil Young. As the record shows, Diana Krall has already done all that and much more. Along the way Krall has sold more albums than any other female jazz artist of the last 30 years, establishing herself as one of the best-selling and most beloved performers of her generation, one whose recordings thus far have earned her nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums.
On Wallflower, Krall’s stunning and surprising new album for Verve Records, this world-class player has consciously chosen to hand over a little control to sixteen-time Grammy® winning producer David Foster in order, once again, to do something unexpected. On the new album she has recorded a collection of songs from the Sixties to present day, showcasing her considerable gifts as a vocalist in a bold and beautiful way. Krall sings a set of songs that include familiar popular classics like The Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreaming” and the Eagles’ “Desperado,” favorite vintage songs by Krall’s musical heroes Bob Dylan (he inspired the album’s title track “Wallflower”) and Elton John (“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”). The album also features more recent gems like Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and a wonderful new composition from Paul McCartney (“If I Take You Home Tonight”). Recorded in Los Angeles and New York, Wallflower is a tremendously refreshing and collaborative effort that reflects Krall in a gorgeous new light.
“A lot of the songs on Wallflower are ones I grew up loving on the radio and on vinyl, songs I heard at home. These are songs I’ve been singing to myself for years. I just needed the lyric sheet to make sure I wasn’t singing the wrong words all this time. I got the 45 for “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc. I listened to Bryan Adams all the time. My parents and I both loved Linda Ronstadt, who was my inspiration to sing ‘Desperado.’ I even had a Peter Frampton poster on the wall. I was just a typical teenager hanging out with friends, not just listening to jazz. When Krall hears “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” she can still remember the musical Christmas gift that keeps on giving, a prized copy of her hero and mentor Elton John’s album Blue Moves. “My biggest influence beside Oscar Peterson is Elton John,” Krall says. “I have a picture somewhere of Christmas morning when Elton’s Blue Moves album came out. I wanted that album so badly. The photo is of me when I was 16 with my mom and my dad holding that album. I used to listen to it downstairs on my record player. I had a Rhodes down there so I could play along. Over the years Elton has become like family. A while back we sang ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ together on my husband Elvis Costello’s TV show Spectacle. So many Elton songs mean so much to me but that one in particular is special.”
Wallflower’s title track is a relatively unknown Bob Dylan composition that has become a personal favorite of Krall’s.
“I love Bob Dylan like crazy,” says Krall. “I’ve only met him a few times. I told him I love the way he plays piano. He said, ‘Well, you’re a piano player, so you should know.’ Dylan’s music runs so deep. From the moment I heard the demo version of “Wallflower” with Bob singing his song along with a dog barking in the background, I have loved this song. I’ve been performing ‘Wallflower’ for a year and a half now with my band and I just had to record it here.” Wallflower is a standout track featuring one of Krall’s most affecting vocals ever and some outstanding guitar work from acclaimed guitarist Blake Mills. “This is a song that I feel very connected to,” Krall explains. “I’m a bit of a method actor and ‘Wallflower’ is a part I really wanted to play.