Overall the best, from a quality of recording, production and included material, it's a toss up between "Love Scenes" and "Only Trust Your Heart".
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Kitch, somehow my post was truncated and you said a mouth full. "Stepping Out" is my overall Krall favorite. Like a lot of artist's first releases it's not as polished as the later ones, but there's a sense of heart and soul later works seem to lose. Something else not pointed out is that the musicians she collaborates with are all top notch. Her producer, Tommy LiPuma is great in his own right, too.
I own "LOVE SCENES","ALL FOR YOU" and "WHEN I LOOK IN YOUR EYES". I like "ALL FOR YOU" the best. I think I will run out and buy "STEPPING OUT" based on Fpeel's recomendation. Very high grade recordings soft jazz Diana playing great piano the whole way through. Personally I don't think you can lose with any of her stuff.
On the song "When I Look In Your Eyes", not only is she very closely miked, but in the quietest parts, the mike mutes and background noise drops out entirely, only to pop back in when she starts to sing again. Its very disconcerting. Also, I think that the engineers bring her voice too far forward and the overall sound is unreal. I've noticed this with "Love Scenes" as well so it must be the preferred presentation. Still...I love her music.
This is funny. I took "When I Look . . " back to the store thinking there was something wrong with the copy I first got since it had been so highly recommended. The second copy was just like the first and just as you guys describe. Too closely miked or just a hot mike, a little too much zzz sibilance.
Dekay -- I'm not sure she has that much to do with the audio problems on the CD. Both of the problems I described are strictly engineering/production issues. She should be able to sing her heart out however she wants to and the production staff ought to be able to make her sound great.
Really, I'm not sure that the sibilance on these CD's bothers me all that much (I don't have a terribly bright system), but the fact that her voice is way more dominant than the instruments is a bit annoying. I watched a concert of hers on one of the cable arts channels a few months back and was amazed at how much much more I enjoyed it over the CD's (TV fidelity issues aside). The balance between her voice and the instruments was much better and it made her sound fantastic.
Anyway, I love her voice and her music, so any imperfections in the acoustics of the CD's is easily overlooked. Still, if I could only have 2 minutes with the her engineers, I'd be a happy camper.
Hi Ken: I watched the same performance and base my opinion of her mike and other skills on it. I only have one CD of her now (gave the rest to my parents), but understand what everyone is saying about the mix's themselves (on many of the tunes). When I listened to the CD that is in a soft cover (think it's "When I Look into your Eyes"), whith "my" eyes closed, I envisioned a giant mouth that was 4-5 ft tall, from which the voice was eminating from (strange mix). I have gotten to the point now that I really like her playing (the dressed down chord work, not too many bass notes, and simple emotional style) and would be interested if she ever did an instrumental album. I have various versions of Gershwin playing the piano (himself) and enjoy her playing in the same manner as these.
I own every one except "Stepping Out" (although I will purchase it shortly!) I'd have to say "Love Scenes" is my favorite even though the lead guitar distorts badly on the first song - All Or Nothing At All and a couple others. (Anyone else notice this?) At first I thought it was my aging 5-Ch Adcom or B&W 640i's, but I heard the same unseemly timbre at the local high end dealer on Rogue 120's and B&W N803's. However, "All For You" is a close 2nd and sports my absolute favorite Diana Krall tune - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Nat King Cole cover). Her CD's sound great, but she's even better in person. At the sonically challenged New Orleans Jazz Festival last year, her show was spectacular! In short you can't go wrong with any of them.
Dekay -- Ha! Your description is right on the money. Of course, now that you've planted that image in my head, I'll have a hard time listening to that song again without feeling like I'm about to be lunch ;-). Fortunately, I have tickets to see her in concert next month, which I'm hoping will replace this terrible imagry with something a bit more pleasant.
BTW - Do you (or anyone out there) know if that concert is available on video? I'd love to buy a copy if it is.
Dekay, I disagree. Her mouth only sounds about 1 ft in diameter. Her head is 4 ft high. Its the opposite of a lot of pop cds where the vocalist appears to be about 3 ft tall. Ms. Krall sounds like a giant. (And I keep picturing a giant sitting on Charlie's lap.) And I never really pinpointed that as one of the problems with the cd, but as Kjg says, your right.