Less is more. I’ll not detain you. Well, simply, this is a five star jazz album, being parsimonious, all jesting aside, that’s pretty clear. Style and substance, Krall freeze-framing such is her complete vocal and pianistic command a whole tradition of the Great American Songbook and capturing the mood down to the last detail to transform it and inject emotion and a life force switching off the pause button to move into real time.
A complete return to form for Krall after protracted illness and the less than satisfactory baby boomer pop album Wallflower, standards, small group rapport, great sound and above all individuality and poise are all laid on.
The road began when Krall did this Nat King Cole-based style back in the 1990s, and she is now going further and deeper with the wisdom of the years. Start all over again – and how.
If you crave proof as to how the subtleties of the drummer’s beat radically alters jazz and moves you away from relying on the sound of say hard bop that you hold in your head from classic recordings then look no further than A Tribute To Art BlakeyAnd The Jazz Messengers out this month on Blue Note records from former Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen.
More bass drum heavy, an Allen innovation, the beat lingering further back on ‘Moanin’’ than convention dictates, the horns a little grittier and more approximate, the musical architecture a bit more regular, compare the masterful Allen approach to orthodox big band treatments of similar material such as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s where the emphasis is more on manicured swing and the zinging spang-a-lang of the ride cymbal and less on the earthy fundamentals of the drum head that Allen manages to harness so well via his own Afrobeat inventions, and you will certainly be pleasantly surprised, enlightened even. Recorded in Paris, listen above to footage, the EP features besides ‘Moanin’,’ ‘A Night In Tunisia’, ‘Politely’ and ‘Drum Thunder Suite.’