Picks and Pans Review: All for You: a Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio
There are plenty of jazz singers who know their way around a piano. And there are some jazz pianists who can sing creditably. Through the years, however, there have been only a few (Fats Waller, Nat King Cole, Shirley Horn) who have been brilliant at both. Now add Krall to that list. Her warm, textured alto is faintly reminiscent of Horn's.
A 30-year-old native of British Columbia, Krall makes up in range of feeling and emotional acuity what she lacks in sheer size of sound.
She moves effortlessly from brassy and bombastic ("I'm An Errand Girl for Rhythm," "Hit That Jive Jack" and the slyly suggestive "Frim Fram Sauce") to bluesy ("Baby Baby All the Time") to been there ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams"). She can be bittersweet ("You Call It Madness") or brokenhearted ("You're Looking at Me").
As for Krall's playing, she swings with ease: She is spare when necessary, and she supplies a fluid, sympathetic setting for her own, immensely appealing vocals. (Impulse!)