Braving the a imminent storms, record setting heat and the threat of increased tolls, Diana Krall made it to Wolf Trap last Thursday, and by the looks of it brought a good portion of the District with her. Performing a mix of jazz standards, some choice more modern covers and her own material, Krall and her band made it clear from note one why she is an three time Grammy Award winner and has taken home Canada’s equivalent, the Juno Award, a total of eight times.
Working through tracks like “How Deep Is The Ocean (How High Is The Sky)”, off of her 1997 album Love Scenes, and “You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love)” – one of a handful of Nat King Cole covers heard over the course of the evening – Krall and her trio of backing musicians brought the kind of sultry intensity to the Wolf Trap stage that one might expect to hear in the dark hollows of Chicago’s Green Mill or DC’s own HR-57. Throughout the evening they consistently delivered all of the heat and smolder one would expect, but left the smoke and haze behind.
It wasn’t all standards though. The quartet took a detour into more popular waters with their cover of Tom Waits “Jockey Full Of Bourbon”, and during a brief solo set Krall turned out a stellar solo version of Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist Of Fate.” Between songs, Krall noted how funny it was how growing listening to old 78’s, and even older Gramophone cylinders, with her dad while all her friends were listening to Elvis Costello (her husband). Funnier still was having children now that prefer Daddy to the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, who she recorded an album of standards with in 2011.
Rounding out the set with a few more standards, and one or two hits from her own albums, Krall ended the evening with the song “Departure Bay” from her 2004 album The Girl In The Other Room. A song about the loss of her mother that was co-written with Costello, it was a fitting end cap (the pre show music was ALL Elvis Costello) to a spectacular evening that was as much about music as it was about family. The heart and soul that Krall puts into her music and her performances is nothing if not amplified by a venue as unique as Wolf Trap, and when you put the two together, the results can be nothing but magic…even if it was of the slightly warmer variety.