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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Diana Krall talks Barbra...

As most of you will know, Barbra has recently been working on her new album with Diana Krall.

Well, Diana has just released her new album, and has been doing a lot of press.

Here's some quotes that I've grabbed from various sources. Please note, some of these quotes contain spoilers about the songs that Barbra has recorded.

Canwest News Service:

"We were two very headstrong artists who didn't always agree, but after the disagreement, we'd laugh and play cards," Krall says. "There is that challenge -- you find a middle ground that works for both of you."


Ahead of the release of Quiet Nights, Krall had been working on producing an album of standards for singing legend Streisand and playing piano on some of the record's tracks."She's directed and she's a very, very strong woman," she said of Streisand. "You want to give her something that is what she wants, but also a little different. But that's probably why she called me."


CNN: You've been producing Barbara Streisand's new album. What has that been like?

Krall: Incredible. I just am so thrilled with her performance on this album. [She gives] one of the most incredible performances I think of her career on a song called "You Must Believe in Spring" with a great pianist from New York named Phil Charlap. It's just piano and voice and it's so incredibly stunning. She said to me, "Maybe it needs some strings or something." I said "Don't touch it! Just leave it! It's gorgeous!"It's been great working artist to artist and we had a lot of fun. We played cards. So when there were moments in the studio where there was something technical that had to be fixed, we'd deal the cards and we'd play gin rummy, which I'm lousy at. Thank goodness.

CNN: This is the first album you've produced for another artist. Way to choose somebody really small to start off with.

Krall: She chose me! I had a few phone calls and it was a little daunting, but it was a great experience and really, really intense, as you would expect it to be.

Winnipeg Sun:

Diana Krall found herself not only producing Barbra Streisand's new album from last November until this February but also playing piano on the disc which still doesn't have a title or release date.

The two women met ten years ago and when the Nanaimo, B.C., singer became pregnant more recently (her twins are now two and a half years old), Streisand called to say she was getting ready to tour again and needed "some songs to be inspired by."

"And so I sent her some CDs and sent her some music and her manager and her main guy from Columbia, Jay Landers, I think encouraged her and called my management a couple of times," said Krall. "And then we had a meeting about it. And I said, 'Are you interested in doing a record the way I make records? Because this is the only way I know how to make records is we do it pretty much live.' And she was like, 'Yeah, absolutely.' "

Krall said they started listening to music together at Streisand's house and Barbra -- who is a fan of such jazz greats as Shirley Horn and Nancy Wilson -- wound up recording songs like Here's to Life, Where do You Start, Love Dance, and You Must Believe in Spring.

"She did a couple of songs just with piano which I think are just brilliant. And my job is to make sure she's happy and comfortable and inspired in what she's doing. That I'm not taking her out of something that's so far from (her) reality. I'm trying to just like strip things down a little bit."

And while Streisand lived up to her reputation -- "she is tough, she is a perfectionist, all true," said Krall -- the two women had a grand time together both in and out of the studio.

"One of my favourite moments with her was when we played cards," said Krall. "We playing gin rummy together in the studio. We had been planning on playing cards at her house but so far we've watched movies there and things like that."

Still, it seems a shame that they never wound up recording a duet together.

"We were planning on a duet, we were trying to find the right tune, and our schedules are so insane that I don't know when we can find a moment to do that, if we can, then we will, but I don't think it's necessary. I think it's her album. I don't have to be singing on it. And I know some people will say, 'Well, that's not right.' But it's a beautiful album and it's about her."

USA Today:

"This is someone who has done everything," Krall says. "So being in the producer's chair, I really had to make sure that I could give her something a little different." Krall describes the resulting disc, expected later this year, as "a really honest, beautiful record, with a very organic feel. There's one song with just a piano and her voice that is absolutely stunning."
Streisand and Krall also bonded "as two women working together. She loves architecture and design, and we'd talk about that, and about our experiences. We were girly-girls, too, talking about clothes, telling funny stories. And we played cards! So if there was ever a technical problem, we'd break out a deck and play hands of rummy."


M: You’ve also recently worked with Barbra Streisand. [Krall is producing Streisand’s new album, due later this year. The relationship between the two women formed in 2006, when Krall was pregnant and Streisand “came to some of my gigs and mentioned that she needed inspiration for her tour,” says Krall. “So I started sending her CDs.”] What can we expect from the final result?

D: It’s a really beautiful record. We’ve chosen different songs for her, a combination of standards and bossa nova, plus some very challenging adult songs and she’s really passionate about them. She worked so hard. We wanted to find songs that were art-meets-commercial, that mean something to her, that tell a story about a woman who is her age, and I think that was accomplished. It’s been quite an extraordinary thing to be part of, and I’m learning a lot.

M: Do you sing with her on this?

D: No. We couldn’t find the right tune and we’re still thinking of that, trying to find the right one.

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