Some music is intended to paint a romantic scene – a candlelit dinner, a walk along a moonlit beach. Quiet Nights – Diana Krall’s twelfth album – ain’t about that. Using Brazil as a musical point of reference, the award-winning pianist and singer is not suggesting a night out; she means to stay in.
From Krall’s refreshing version of “Where or When,” to an utterly soul-stilling rendition of “You’re My Thrill,” the ten songs on Quiet Nights are disarming in their intimacy. Even those already familiar with the breathy vocals and rhythmic lilt in Krall’s music – and now there are millions – will be taken aback by just how far the music pushes, unabashedly, into the realm of sweet surrender. “It’s a sensual, downright erotic record and it’s intended to be that way.”
Born in Nanaimo, Canada, to a musical family, Krall grew up absorbing music that guided her future growth. She attended Berklee School of Music in the early ’80s, then moved to Los Angeles where she continued her studies with bassists Ray Brown and John Clayton, drummer Jeff Hamilton and pianist Jimmy Rowles; Rowles convinced the young pianist to focus on her singing as well. By 1990, Krall relocated to New York City and began performing with a trio, and in 1993, she released her debut album on a small Canadian independent label.
Fifteen years later, she can look back over a stellar career path: in ‘99, signed to Verve, her career exploded when When I Look in Your Eyes won a GRAMMY® for best jazz vocal and became the first jazz disc to be nominated for Album of the Year in twenty-five years. In 2002, The Look of Love was a #1 bestseller in the US and a five-time platinum album in Canada. 2004’s The Girl in the Other Room, was her first to focus on her own songwriting (with six tunes co-written with husband Elvis Costello); 2005’s Christmas Songs proved one of the season’s best-sellers; and 2006’s From This Moment On was an upbeat, critical success that coincided with the birth of her twin sons.
As moving as Quiet Nights is — deriving from Krall’s feelings for Brazil and bossa novas – the singer is not shy in admitting that its sensuality is as much about her home life. “It’s my love letter to my husband – just an intimate, romantic album.” As they say in Rio – obrigado!