Tuesday, August 8, 2017
In an era when it has become increasingly rare to hear a full evening of jazz in a large outdoor venue, Diana Krall carries the torch for sophistication and style. On her May 2017 release, Turn Up the Quiet, Krall experimented with different configurations, from a simple piano trio on up, and on Sunday night, August 6, fans at the Santa Barbara Bowl were treated to a quintet featuring Robert Hurst on bass, Karriem Riggins on drums, Anthony Wilson on guitar, and Stuart Duncan on violin. Krall’s piano playing was never less than great, and her arrangements of Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies” and Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” made two of the best-known songs in history into fresh explorations of harmony and color. The band got its best licks in on an extended version of a Tom Waits number called “Temptation,” with Duncan providing a particularly memorable pizzicato passage in his solo. The assiduously Canadian Krall covered Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” and then chose The Band’s “Ophelia” as her encore. Krall’s dreamy, seductive approach will always be welcome here on a hot summer night, or any other time for that matter.