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DIANA KRALL: The Look Of Love

down at Jazz Junction

Norman Warwick feels the return of

THE LOOK OF LOVE by Diana Krall

Verve has reissued Diana Krall’s The Look of Love as part of its Acoustic Sounds series of transfers from analog tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging. Originally released in 2001 and produced by Tommy LiPuma, the record is a cinematic collection of ballads and bossa nova, coupling Krall’s renowned elegant piano playing and sultry vocals with the London Symphony Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman. It was released on 31 May.

The Look of Love is the sixth studio album by Canadian singer Diana Krall, released on September 18, 2001, by Verve Records. It became Krall’s first album to top the Canadian Albums Chart. In 2002, the album earned Al Schmitt the Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, and received the Juno Award for Album of the Year in Canada.

Arranger Claus Ogerman uses a similar orchestration for “S’Wonderful” as the one he wrote for the 1976 João Gilberto album Amoroso.

Jim Santella of All About Jazz commented, “Lush strings and gliding flutes surround Diana Krall’s tender vocals. Even her substantial piano interludes take on the appearance of drifting mists, through the mix of orchestral timbres. With an emphasis on her sultry vocal interpretations, the latest album reaches out to a broad, popular music audience. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that jazz fans usually want the improvised licks along with their melodies… By interpreting classic love songs, Krall’s latest album turns toward romantic interests. The clutter of a large string orchestra, however, obscures the total picture”.

John Kreicbergs of PopMatters wrote, “Simply said, her piano chops are more than adequate to back up her incredible voice. Yet this is exactly what makes The Look of Love so maddening. Krall’s piano work is practically nonexistent on most of the tracks, save for a few perfunctory solos that often sink into in a sea of overly lush string and orchestral arrangements”.

Doug Ramsey of JazzTimes stated, “The songs, including Burt Bacharach’s title tune, are superb. The arrangements and performances enhance them. Krall’s singing has improved with her every album. It is at a high level. If her record company can make her a major star with albums this good, and if it doesn’t push her piano further into the background, serious listeners should have no complaint”.  A reviewer of Cosmopolis noted, “With her new album The Look of Love, Diana Krall confirms her exceptional status as a jazz singer. Her new CD is a touch too polished, too clean, but never kitsch, as one might have feared, since the album was recorded together with the London Symphony Orchestra. But the special, sometimes rough-edged character of her previous recordings is missing”.

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