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28.09.12 Music Week 31


things exactly the way I know how to do. It was all Paul’s choice. It was music from his dad’s record collection so similar in that respect, but the approach was different.” Just the other week Krall found herself back in


the studio recording with McCartney again. “We just did a Christmas song,” she reveals.”


It was really fun being in the studio again with Paul and Tommy. It was a really loving hangout again. It was great. Paul sounded really, really good as always.” Although the material on her new album is quite


different from what she has recorded before, Glad Rag Doll is similar to most of Krall’s previous sets in that it totally comprises other people’s songs. The big exception is 2004’s The Girl In The Other Room, which includes half-a-dozen tunes she co- wrote with Costello. However, she is very hesitant about writing for herself again in the near future. “I don’t know,” she says. “I think songwriting is


Despite the vintage age of the material, she, Burnett, engineer Mike Piersante and the other musicians deliberately set out to make the album sound contemporary. Among those who have already heard the results, some thought they were listening to newly-composed songs. “Some musicians that I played it for asked me did


I write that, Let It Rain in particular. I like the fact you can’t tell with Let it Rain, was it written yesterday, and that you can only find it on YouTube of somebody playing it on their gramophone. That’s how I heard it at home on my dad’s gramophone. He plays 78s. Some of these songs I had to record on my iPhone from a Victrola because you don’t just pop on iTunes and find it. These are records in a pile in my dad’s front room.” Besides Burnett, a few other individuals very


familiar to Krall turn up on the album, including one chap who adds his voice to the closing track When The Curtain Come Down. Apparently the fella had a hit years back with something called Oliver’s Army. “Oh yeah, I looked in the back of a comic book,”


Krall jokes on where she tracked down this particular bespectacled specimen for her album. “There was an ad in the back of one of the comic books I was reading. I don’t know. He was available, so why not?” Given she has been married to him for nearly


nine years, you would have to presume she got Mr Costello’s services for this album at family rates. “Well, you know, certain things I can’t talk about


but, erm, it was wonderful with Elvis in a very natural way, too,” she fondly recalls. “I mean I was sort of like, ‘Why don’t you come on over and play a little bit, hang out.’ It’s his world, too, and it ended up being kind of… that part of it was really fun, too. We weren’t collaborating and writing. We were just playing music together. It was great.” It also provided another chance for Burnett and Costello to work together again, extending a professional relationship that dates back to 1986’s King Of Comedy and includes Costello’s last two albums, 2009’s Secret, Profane & Sugarcane and National Ransom from the following year. “They’re like best friends and since I’ve been


married to Elvis we’ve been friends with T Bone and his wife, so they’re like family,” she says. “I just have tremendous love and respect for T Bone just


really hard and I’m such an improviser. I’ll sit and play the piano and improvise for hours and I won’t write it down. I don’t know if I’m a songwriter. Elvis is a great songwriter and there are a lot of great writers out there, but I don’t know if I’m good enough for that.” Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the


release of Krall’s first album – Stepping Out – and she is staggered by just how different the industry is now when it comes to releasing a new record. “Even [compared to] 10 years when I put an


album out… [Back then] you put a CD out. That’s it. You didn’t put a song out and then a press release and stream it. It’s a whole different thing now,” she says. “I try not to think about it too much because I’m basically a touring musician and I’m so fortunate to have a record company that is strong and supportive and they’re into this record and into doing it. I can’t complain. It’s not a bad or negative thing or worse or better thing, it’s just a very different world than it was 10 years ago and it’s challenging.” She experienced that changing retail environment


on a human level. He’s just such an amazing, honest and truthful person and that comes out in the music. You’ve just got to tell the truth. That’s what we tried to do.” Burnett also co-produced Costello’s 1989 album


Spike, which saw him collaborating on two songs with Paul McCartney – Pads, Paws And Claws and Veronica, which became Costello’s biggest ever US hit single when it peaked at 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. Just to complete the circle, ahead of her own new


album of Twenties and Thirties material Krall – alongside producer Tommy LiPuma – played a leading role on McCartney’s own album of vintage songs, Kisses On The Bottom, playing piano and overseeing rhythm arrangements. “I did Paul’s project almost a year before I did this


project,” says Krall who suggests that, despite both albums comprising largely songs from long before the birth of rock‘n’roll, they are very, very different. “I don’t think there are similarities. It’s very


different,” she says. “You can hear the difference, right? This isn’t the same period. A lot of Paul’s material was Thirties, Forties. [My album] is 1920 to 1933 and then 1950s. It was a very different approach. Paul’s was more the Nat King Cole jazz. It was basically the band I’ve been working with for 10 years, 20 years and Tommy [LiPuma]. We did


ABOVE Krall’s pals: Producer T Bone Burnett (above) and husband Elvis Costello (top left)


COMING UP


herself the other week when she tried to buy an album in a store. “There’s no record stores anymore,” she reflects. “I


went out to go and buy Bob Dylan’s record and I was like wondering around trying to find a record store. I like going to Heathrow because there’s an HMV there and I go and buy a bunch of CDs. I do like the immediacy of researching on iTunes, but now it’s YouTube. You can just listen to stuff on YouTube. And it’s all there.” As she knows only too well, “all” also includes any


Album Glad Rag Doll is released by Verve Records on October 15. Diana Krall begins a European tour in Luxembourg six days later, with two nights at the Royal Albert Hall on October 30/31


concert performance she undertakes, which will be available to the world within seconds. “It was not like that before,” she says. “You’d just


have to imagine it in your mind or go to the concert, not look out into the audience and see glowing phones. I guess there are positives to that as well. I’m not a computer person. I don’t tweet. I only discovered what Facebook was three weeks ago because I had to. Usually I’m pretty busy in my world of my children, my family and making music and concerts and records and I try not to get into that.” That world of hers not only includes her new


album but two dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall at the end of next month when she will no doubt experience again the glowing phones of many of her fans.


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