Customer Review

32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depending on what you're looking for, this might be a disappointment, December 8, 2005
This review is from: Christmas Songs (Audio CD)
First things first: Diana K's voice is what is featured here; her piano playing is practically non-existent. Instead, she is backed by the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Longtime fans of Krall will recognize those two names as probably her favorite sidemen (John Clayton, bass, and Jeff Hamilton, drums). Her other sideman fixture, guitarist Anthony Wilson, is also in the band.

The spotlight, however, is focused on Krall's voice -- the band definitely plays backup. The "C/H Jazz Orch" is a great band, and can (and sometimes does) really swing, but on this CD, they aren't given much of a chance. The majority of the songs are Krall's trademark "sultry slow ballads", with a few fun exceptions. The biggest surprise is the inclusion of "Christmas Time is Here", which will make most listeners think of the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon -- only here, it gets a proper grown-up rendition instead of the children's choir used in the show. That tune alone is almost worth the price of the CD.

I am a *huge* fan of Krall, but this CD just doesn't do it for me. I think the main reason is that her piano playing adds so much to her performances, and when it's missing, it leaves a big hole. Also, since she's singing for virtually the whole 44 minutes (including a touch of scat), the record has a "sameness" that doesn't happen in the rest of her recordings, where she, of course, not only takes several solo choruses on the piano, but is very liberal in handing out solos to her sidemen (esp. Wilson).

If you're looking for Diana singing all the Christmas standards with a lush big band (violins and all), then this will hit the spot. But as Krall would attest, she is first and foremost a jazz pianist, and her singing career was tacked on well after she was the "teenage jazz piano phenom". I personally think the record would have come off better in her typical milieu -- her at the piano, her three favorite sidemen, and a smattering of purely instrumental choruses of theses Christmas standards.

And if you're just a plain old Kralloholic, it's a must. Although I must say I am completely baffled by the cover art -- it looks like the photographer told her to gather up that voluminous dress to show off her (still great) legs, and then "lean back so that it looks like you're in pain and will fall off the chair any moment".
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 3, 2007 9:21:34 PM PDT
K. Rudd says:
Exactly! I too am baffled by the photos of Diana! Your description is PRICELESS!
thanks

Posted on Nov 21, 2010 1:10:38 PM PST
D. Allen says:
I think they were going for the "drunk and passed out at the Christmas party" look.

Posted on Dec 8, 2014 8:10:11 AM PST
You're too funny! I, like you am a "Kralloholic" as well, having seen her perform at least 3 times close up and personal ( only to be beaten out by my girl, Bonnie Raitt, whom I've seen 6 times!). And you're right, while her voice is seductive, her piano playing is her magic. Too bad, she's not playing much; I was looking for a special kind of Christmas Cd; I guess this ain't quite it...but I'll get it anyway...I am a "Kralloholic" after all. And yeah, she does look rather inebriated...? Hey, it is Christmas!
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