Outside of jazz circles — and people who actually pay attention to the Grammys, where she's been a perennial nominee and/or winner for well over a decade — Canadian-born singer/pianist Diana Krall's name usually rings a bell because she's the wife of Elvis Costello. The pair married in 2003, and she delivered twin boys on the couple's third wedding anniversary. She also deserves to be known above all for her tremendously expressive, sensual contralto, her smartly nuanced phrasing, and her uncanny knack for homing in on emotions and imagery occasionally overlooked in the performance of jazz standards, drawing them out, and breathing new life into them. To that end, Krall's dipped into the songbooks of Nat King Cole, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, and numerous other icons in her 10 studio albums. In recent years, she's tried her hand at songwriting and has done so successfully — she and Costello penned several songs together for 2004's well-received The Girl in the Other Room. Krall's recently released Quiet Nights, though, is a sterling collection of classic ballads and atmospheric, Jobim-composed '60s bossa nova standards. A Krall concert is an opportunity to hear a little bit of everything, and, if you're not already in the know, a chance to discover her singular voice and exceptional talent.
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