Diana Krall raised the bar at Grand Sierra Resort again this past Saturday night. She last appeared there in 2015.
This will be the fourth time I’ve covered one of her shows, and each time it’s like a musical cleansing – like a trip to a Temple of Music. Listening to an evening of Diana Krall and her band is like a musical rejuvenation of sorts. It’s a walk through a garden blooming with a joyful noise. I love my rock ‘n’ roll and I love my blues, but there’s just something about the beautiful jazz she shares with all of us that refreshes my musical spirit. Her smoky, sultry voice mixed with her delicate finesse on the piano makes for a cocktail that goes down smooth.
Krall’s interaction with the audience was both comfortable and amusing. At a couple of points early on she was getting “input” from the audience. “Buy me a drink!” one gentleman shouted. “After I play this song,” she responded. Of a song request that was shouted out she responded with, “You’ll have to come back tomorrow night.” Her pleasant responses seemed to encourage the slightly unruly senior crowd. Ultimately, she chose to let the interplay subside without response. A wise choice.
Her band is made up of four amazingly talented players. Always right by her side playing standup bass was Robert Hurst who has been with her every time I’ve seen her, as has been guitarist Anthony Wilson. On drums was Karriem Riggins. He was with her last time she played GSR in 2015. Brand new to the mix since I last saw her was Stuart Duncan on fiddle.
Everybody took a lot of solos, and Krall gave them kudos at the end of each one. That’s jazz!
They played a combination of standards, covers, and originals. Among the covers was a Tom Waits composition called “Temptation.” During this song the band was bathed in deep red light, befitting of the subject, and all had fantastic solos. Krall’s version stayed true to the Tom Waits original, but comparing their two voices is like comparing silk to sandpaper. Riggins had a drum solo where he was using his brushes with an absolutely incredible technique. Sometimes less is more.
Most songs had unique videos on a large backdrop behind the band that related to the song. “Sway,” originally done by Dean Martin, had a beautiful and moving vintage film of two people dancing together. This was another huge performance. After finishing with the up-tempo “Just You, Just Me” (with incredible solos by all players) she returned for a three-song encore that included “Almost Blue” by her husband, Elvis Costello, and the show closer, “Ophelia” by The Band.
I always encourage my readers to go out and listen to live music. It’s different than listening at home. As Chris Isaak says, “We can see you too!” Plus, you need to try new things. I first went to a Diana Krall show out of curiosity. She wasn’t on my radar and I had no Diana Krall albums. I loved it and still do. I have gone to all of her shows that have been in the area since I first saw her.
Get out there and try new things. You never know what will hit you hard and stay with you, and our town is full of opportunities.
“Deed I Do”
“Isn’t it Romantic”
“Night and Day”
“Sunny Side of The Street”
“A Case of You”
“Quiet Nights” (solo)
“Peel Me A Grape” (partial)
“I Don’t Know Enough About You”
“Just You, Just Me”
“East of The Sun”
Diana Krall – Piano, Vocals
Anthony Wilson – Guitars
Robert Hurst – Bass
Karriem Riggins – Drums
Stuart Duncan – Fiddles