Girl in the Other Room [DualDisc]

Girl in the Other Room [DualDisc]

by Diana Krall
     
 

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The Girl in the Other Room reveals two new things about Diana Krall. One: that her interpretive repertoire is expanding. Two: that, in collaboration with her husband, Elvis Costello, Krall has discovered her inner singer-songwriter. Both directions signal good news. Where Krall had built a career by delving deeply into the work of the classic Great AmericanSee more details below

Overview

The Girl in the Other Room reveals two new things about Diana Krall. One: that her interpretive repertoire is expanding. Two: that, in collaboration with her husband, Elvis Costello, Krall has discovered her inner singer-songwriter. Both directions signal good news. Where Krall had built a career by delving deeply into the work of the classic Great American Songbook composers of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, she’s now setting her sights on more contemporary figures, including Mose Allison (“Stop This World”), Tom Waits (“Temptation”), Chris Smither (“Love Me like a Man”), Joni Mitchell (“Black Crow”), and Costello (“Almost Blue”) -- although, in truth, the most recent of these tunes, “Temptation,” is nearly 20 years old. To her credit, Krall injects as much individuality into these reinterpretations -- her blues singing has become noticeably confident and assured -- as she did on the work of more hallowed composers. “I’m Pulling Through,” made famous by Billie Holiday and given a quality reading by Krall, is the album’s only standard. The six original tunes reveal a more personal approach. With Krall handling the music and Costello adding his input to the lyrics, the two work up songs that share an unexpected but winning blend of Joni Mitchell’s unconventional melodicism and Costello’s sharp and literate lyrical concerns. The obviously personal nature of the work -- the theme of change, its difficulties and potentials, pervades these songs -- allows us a closer look at an artist whose cool approach to her material has often kept her audience at arm’s length. Obviously influenced by her husband's artistry as both a composer and vocalist, Krall’s phrasing on the new tunes at times reflects Costello’s inimitable delivery, but Krall has nonetheless found her own distinct voice as a singer-songwriter. With The Girl in the Other Room she gives notice that the future promises pleasant surprises.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While the jazz fascists (read: purists) may be screaming "sellout" because Diana Krall decided to record something other than standards this time out, everyone else can enjoy the considerable fruit of her labors. The Girl in the Other Room is, without question, a jazz record in the same manner her other outings are. The fact that it isn't made up of musty and dusty "classics" may irk the narrow-minded and reactionary, but it doesn't change the fact that this bold recording is a jazz record made with care, creativity, and a wonderfully intimate aesthetic fueling its 12 songs. Produced by Tommy LiPuma and Krall, the non-original material ranges from the Mississippi-fueled jazzed-up blues of Mose Allison's "Stop This World" to contemporary songs that are reinvented in Krall's image by Tom Waits ("Temptation"), Joni Mitchell ("Black Crow"), Chris Smither ("Love Me Like a Man"), and her husband, Elvis Costello ("Almost Blue"). These covers are striking. Krall's read of Allison's tune rivals his and adds an entirely different shade of meaning, as does her swinging, jazzy, R&B-infused take on Smither's sexy nugget via its first hitmaker, Bonnie Raitt. Her interpretation of Waits' "Temptation" is far more sultry than Holly Cole's because Krall understands this pop song to be a jazz tune rather than a jazzy pop song. "Black Crow" exists in its own space in the terrain of the album, because Krall understands that jazz is not mere articulation but interpretation. Likewise, her reverent version of Costello's "Almost Blue" takes it out of its original countrypolitan setting and brings it back to the blues. As wonderful as these songs are, however, they serve a utilitarian purpose; they act as bridges to the startling, emotionally charged poetics in the material Krall has composed with Costello. Totaling half the album, this material is full of grief, darkness, and a tentative re-emergence from the shadows. It begins in the noir-ish melancholy of the title track, kissed with bittersweet agony by Gershwin's "Summertime." The grain in Krall's pained voice relates an edgy third-person tale that is harrowing in its lack of revelation and in the way it confounds the listener; it features John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums. In "I've Changed My Address," Krall evokes the voices of ghosts such as Louis Armstrong and Anita O'Day in a sturdy hip vernacular that channels the early beat jazz of Waits and Allison. The lyric is solid and wonderfully evocative not only of time and place, but of emotional terrain. Krall's solo in the tune is stunning. "Narrow Daylight," graced by gospel overtones, is a tentative step into hope with its opening line: "Narrow daylight enters the room, winter is over, summer is near." This glimmer of hope is short-lived, however, as "Abandoned Masquerade" reveals the shattered promise in the aftermath of dying love. "I'm Coming Through" and "Departure Bay," which close the set, are both underscored by the grief experienced at the loss of Krall's mother. They are far from sentimental, nor are they sophomoric, but through the eloquence of Krall's wonderfully sophisticated melodic architecture and rhythmic parlance they express the experience of longing, of death, and of acceptance. The former features a beautiful solo by guitarist Anthony Wilson and the latter, in its starkness, offers memory as reflection and instruction. This is a bold new direction by an artist who expresses great willingness to get dirt on her hands and to offer its traces and smudges as part and parcel of her own part in extending the jazz tradition, through confessional language and a wonderfully inventive application that is caressed by, not saturated in, elegant pop. [This DualDisc version adds a music video (for "Narrow Daylight") plus two selections from a live performance in Lisbon ("The Girl in the Other Room" and "Abandoned Masquerade"). The DVD side also features the songs reproduced in high-resolution stereo, as well as Surround Sound, and includes bio information and a photo gallery.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/23/2004
Label:
Verve
UPC:
0602498648247
catalogNumber:
000375882

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Stop This World
  2. The Girl in the Other Room
  3. Temptation
  4. Almost Blue
  5. I've Changed My Address
  6. Love Me Like a Man
  7. I'm Pulling Through
  8. Black Crow
  9. Narrow Daylight
  10. Abandoned Masquerade
  11. I'm Coming Through
  12. Departure Bay

Disc 2

  1. Stop This World
  2. The Girl in the Other Room
  3. Temptation
  4. Almost Blue
  5. I've Changed My Address
  6. Love Me Like a Man
  7. I'm Pulling Through
  8. Black Crow
  9. Narrow Daylight
  10. Abandoned Masquerade
  11. I'm Coming Through
  12. Departure Bay
  13. Narrow Daylight
  14. The Girl in the Other Room
  15. Abandoned Masquerade  - Diana Krall
  16. Biography
  17. Photo Gallery

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Diana Krall   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Terri Lyne Carrington   Drums
Peter Erskine   Drums
Jeff Hamilton   Drums
John Clayton   Bass
Neil Larsen   Hammond Organ
Christian McBride   Bass
Anthony Wilson   Guitar

Technical Credits

Chris Smither   Composer
Elvis Costello   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Bonnie Raitt   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
Mose Allison   Composer
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Tommy LiPuma   Producer
Doug Sax   Mastering
Schmitt   Engineer
Diana Krall   Composer,Producer
Donna Ranieri   Photo Production
Hollis King   Art Direction
Steve Genewick   Digital Editing
Robert Hadley   Mastering
Irene Kitchings   Composer

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