What’s wrong with Diana Krall?


Just wondering if anybody else saw Diana Krall on tour this past summer. I had been a very big fan and had previously seen her live years ago in San Francisco and Tampa/St. Pete. My recollection was that she was amazing in concert...she played flawlessly, she was engaging, and her ensemble was very tight. However, I took my wife to see her this past June in Memphis...man what a disappointment. First, they were 20 minutes late hitting the stage. Diana seemed like she was under some chemical influence...she mumbled her requisite bon mots to no one in particular, forgot lyrics to some songs (!), and basically took most of the night off, letting her bandmates do an extended jam session with lengthy solos on every song! Looking at customer reviews from her performances at other venues, this had apparently been going on for quite some time. Her whole set, including a halfhearted encore, was only about an hour. God, I hope she is ok and pulls herself together...what a terrible waste if she can’t.
jtkmd1
Not even close to my experience earlier this year in Ft Lauderdale.  She was undeniably great then.  Why are you doing this?
That's unfortunate.  I hope she was just having a temporary illness.  Fame can have detrimental effects on people but let's hope this was just a bad night.  All artists have them.
I'm glad people don't criticize me in an online forum when I have an off day at work.
Sorry to hear of your less than favorable take on DKs performance, have not seen her but am looking forward to when she gets to Houston or New Orleons in the near future. Hopefully it was just an off night, God knows we all have them.
I’ve seen some of our greatest artists at different points in their lives, and they have been almost like different people. I’m thinking mostly of Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson. I’ve also been involved with a few artists, and saw first-hand how they not only soar to greater heights than the rest of us, but also sink to lower depths. They provide us with our greatest joy, but sometimes at the cost of their own. I have not been the same since Richard Manuel of The Band committed suicide, and really mourn the loss of Elliot Smith (a really sweet guy whom I met), Danny Gatton, and Del Shannon, all of whom did the same.
She was on PBS this weekend on an hour -long duo show with Tony Bennett .Even in 90's he still has a lot to give , she had nothing to give .
@rpeluso What do you mean by "Why are you doing this?"

The OP went to a paid performance and it was not up to snuff, clearly. If you are in the business of selling tickets for your performance then criticism for poor performances is perfectly legit and comes with the territory. Being in the public eye is tough. At least the OP wondered if there was a problem rather than just accusing her of phoning it in, which to me is the worst thing you can ever say about a performer.

I'm often willing to overlook a poor performance musically if the performer is still engaged with the audience and seems to be enjoying their work. 
I've never seen her live except on TV, but there and on studio recordings, she is a real lightweight to me. Like Norah Jones with blond hair. 
I have most of DK’s recordings including a couple of bootlegs. One was a live performance at a New Years Eve party, and the other one was live also, but I think she had the flu. She kept coughing throughout the performance. I believe both were recorded at a private party.

I’ve never considered DK being a great singer in the vein of Sarah Vaughn for example, but she does connect in a very enjoyable nuanced way. I have noticed that her voice has become tired sounding in the recent past. I really like her piano playing as well as her early recordings, even if they were over-processed electronically. I like her "Live in Paris" CD the best.

On fading singers ... I was privileged to see Ella’s last performance. It was at the Hollywood Bowl and featured Ella along with Mel Torme. Ella had glaucoma so bad they had to lead her onto the stage and to the microphone. The voice was gone ... but you could still tell that under the warbling, it was still Ella. The audience loved her, as did I. We lost a great one there.

Frank
Considering her husband's recent health issues..

Of course, the show must always go on, but we're all human beings.
@rpeluso - If you are insinuating that I am just flaming DK for the sake of flaming her, I am not. I happened to see a remarkable performance at the Orpheum this weekend and it made me think back on the other shows I saw this year. Her show was notable for the expectations I had going into it, and the shocking disappointment I experienced. Glad to hear you had a great experience in Ft. Lauderdale. But if you look at some concert reviews from Orange County (CA), Medford (MA), Tulsa (OK), Dallas (TX), Kansas City (MO), St. Louis (MO), etc., you will see that my experience was hardly an isolated one. I am merely trying to see if anybody might have some insight as to what is wrong with DK. Clearly, she is not the performer of years past that I so fondly remember.
apologies then.  please forgive.
In my opinion the OP has nothing to apologize for. Reading his posts it’s evident that he is an avid fan of Dianne Krall (DK). He clearly acknowledged that In past performances of her he’s attended she was terrific. He simply has pointed out the stark decline in her most recent show. He seems genuinely concerned and dismayed. He isn’t alone in his observation given the number of cited reviews (from multiple locals) offering the same assessment as his.

The OP and other concert attendees paid good money as tickets for her show are expensive. They have every right to expect a quality effort from DK. This isn’t asking too much and DK more than anyone knows this. She is human and is sunject to problems/issues as are many people this is understood ( for sure nothing unusual amongst artist in the entertainment world). I believe the OP is rooting for DK and would love to see her regain previous levels of performance that he has personally witnessed and admired.

The OP is merely reporting what he experienced that evening. This was his observation given honestly. Don’t blame him for her apparently subpar concert performance that night.. I get the sense  the OP would be willing  to attend a future DK show and give her another chance .
Charles
@rpeluso You're the one off base here. The OP has nothing to apologize for. He has nothing to forgive.
I don’t understand DK adoration even on her very best day. Like Michael Buble - I just don’t get it.
You just can't do same thing all life. Either you stop or change to something different.
A lot of people do the same thing their whole life and do it well. Even at high levels of performance and art. Maybe they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

But, I agree with you. When you can't do it anymore it is time to stop or change.

Robert Plant pretty much admitted in interviews that he no longer has the range he used to. He just can't belt out those sustained high range tones anymore. So he doesn't. If he can modify a song to accommodate for that he does. If he can't, he doesn't sing the song anymore. And he has altered his musical style to fit his voice as well. I don't like his new stuff but plenty of fans and critics do.
shadorne sez ...

  • "I don’t understand DK adoration even on her very best day. Like Michael Buble - I just don’t get it."


You’re not alone, shadorne. I have audiophile friends who are really true music lovers who will not listen to Diana Krall. Like you, they too don’t get it. By the same token, they don’t get Miles Davis or Bill Evans either.

So, what is it to get about Diana Krall, Miles and Evans? Its all in the nuances in their playing and vocals. It’s the notes they leave out, letting your mind fill them in. While some musicians try to blind you with blazing technics, others massage you with creativity. I’ll take the later everytime.

Frank
Back off guys, read it again, I was apologizing to the OP and asking for his/her forgiveness.  
Hi rpeluso
No problem and all is good😊. I and apparently  others just misinterpreted your  reply.
Charles
As much as I love the nuances in Miles and Evans, I hear no reasonable parallel with DK, I'm afraid.  If she weren't easy on the eyes I suspect we would not have heard of her.
@rpeluso Got it. Sorry.
@rpeluso - No worries, not trying to stir the pot here.
I don't really care for her music but to me she has a look and style I've rarely seen. She is a one of a kind lady for sure. I listened to a few of her songs this weekend and they were pretty good but not my style. Hope she is ok though. I know ALOT of people love her.
I mentioned this in the other DK thread here, but for me I needed to listen to "Live in Paris" for me to connect with her and her music.  Had a few of her other CDs but didn't really connect to them until hearing her live album.

"As much as I love the nuances in Miles and Evans, I hear no reasonable parallel with DK, I'm afraid. If she weren't easy on the eyes I suspect we would not have heard of her."

I see that good old fashioned jazz snobbery and female stereotyping is still alive and well. 

Neither Krall or Nora Jones are lightweights...both are great musicians and solid live performers who are simply excellent examples of talented women who can actually play. I've never seen a bad song from either, but wasn't at the show (or any part of whatever that tour was) mentioned so I'm lucky I suppose, and would have been REAL BUMMED if she performed poorly...I friggin' hate bad live shows. I also agree that Dylan and Brian Wilson seem like different people. Also, I have a guitar pick Russell Malone left behind at a show I mixed so I may have a Krall bias stemming from that, as he's astonishing and still plays with Krall even though he's an ex boyfriend, pre Elvis. Does anybody here tour with their ex girlfriend...well do you? No, you don't.
When she was singing with Tony Bennett on a network Christmas show a few days ago, I thought something didn’t seem right with her voice. Her words didn’t seem crisp and clear like I’m used to from listening to her “Look of Love” SACD. Whether it’s vocal aging or she’s dealing with some personal demons, is unknown, but I agree with the OPs opinion of her performance.

I jumped on the Diana Krall train and saw here live in 2000 and enjoyed seeing her play. I was also impressed as I always am, with the high quality of musicians she had put together to play with. I did buy her CD's along the way and after awhile, they did all begin to sound the same. I saw her again about 4 years ago, and she was sick with the flu...….now she does have / had younger children who are little germ carriers and Elvis has been fighting a bout with cancer, but unfortunately there does seem to be a trend here with her. Some of her CD's I have since sold off and really not interested in anything new at the time as it does all sound ; the same.

Wolf Garcia  - I really didn't understand your point on your thread as it pertains to the OP's comment   

Her voice on PBS is her REAL voice , she simply is a joke as a singer.Her CD's are doctored to the nth degree and that is not her real voice .
Garebear...which point? The one where I said I hate bad live shows? The Russell Malone guitar pick thing? Brian Wilson and Dylan are different people? I get that my ultra cerebral and detailed posts can provide comprehension challenges for some, and since I’m somewhat sympathetic to your plight, I’m here to help you wade through the details.

Krall’s CDs are not "doctored" and generally she sings fine. She also acknowledges her chops aren’t as speedy as others, but her taste and sense of what works remains at a very high level. I can get Tommy LiPuma's phone number for anybody who wants to discuss these things with a producer. Just don't call him during nap time.
I think it is strange when people say things like someone is a "joke as a singer". Or this or that band "is not a good band". Certainly such things might apply to some garage band or youtube wannabe but these statements are often made about people who have sold millions of albums to reasonably discriminating fans who enjoy their work.

Its music and much of music is subjective.

So it seems like saying that one doesn't like a musician and giving a reason would be more useful than simply saying they are a joke. Anyone could say that about anyone.
@Garebear - Tommy might not be  answering  any phone calls for a while; HE'S DEAD! 
True , it is a matter of taste , good taste and bad taste .
Saw her live two years ago and she was wonderful. Solid piano player with a nice voice that is easy to listen to and relax. . She is very talented

...thank Wolf Garcia ; sorry to derail you but I never found any of your posts ultra cerebral or too detailed that I would ever have been confused by them. Nor am in any sort of plight as you have noted. 

I just am not sure how working with your ex had anything to do with Diana Krall's limited vocal range or her sometimes underperforming at shows. No big deal …...    

Diana Krall is a heavyweight? I did not know that. 😳
@geoffkait  said : "I did not know that."

Do you expect us to believe that? ;-)

@schubert said: "True , it is a matter of taste , good taste and bad taste."

 True enough. And I'm sure our audiophile friends who exclusively appreciate classical music probably think all of us jazz and rock fans have wonderful taste in music.

And I've heard that some folks like country and hip-hop. 

Wonder what they think of Geddy Lee or Sid Vicious?
Garebear...in the future (whenever THAT is...wait...it's now...or NOW...) I will refrain from any humor, sarcasm, or silliness when responding to anything from you as clearly you're humorless, and that's fine although that sort of response chews the fun outta my posting gum. I still have LiPuma's phone number, but I now know why nobody answers when I call.
People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?
Happy Holidays, guyz. 
I don't have any info on Diana, but we had tickets to see her in Reno in early November and she cancelled, as well as a number of other concerts, "due to illness." I hope she is well.
Saw her this past June in Appleton, WI. She was spot on! Gave another awesome performance to say the least!
Can’t imagine why it’s always the same people posting all the time. 
 I saw her at Caesar’s back in October and similar experience as OP stated. Figured something was wrong as her performance was really off compared to seeing her in the past. 
 But entertainers have a tough time if they aren’t feeling good or having some tough times, not like they can call in sick. Hard to determine how you’re gonna feel a year in advance
It appears like an off night or two. Hope she is well heading into 2019.
I just don’t know how Elvis Costello snagged her. :)
Back to the original post, on PBS, something was clearly wrong. Either exhausted, I’ll, or ???  
@tooblue No one is paying 100 dollars to see you work, big difference!