Diana Krall’s “Tour 2024” LIVE! at MPAC

Spotlight Central
Spotlight Central
Published in
7 min readMar 15, 2024

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By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

Although it’s raining cats and dogs in Morristown, NJ, this Wednesday, March 6 evening, music lovers chat inside MPAC’s warm and inviting auditorium as they ready themselves for a “Tour 2024” concert by the multiplatinum-selling Canadian jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall.

Says Ellen from Basking Ridge, “My husband, Bob, loves Diana Krall so I bought him tickets for Christmas,” adding, “The best presents are experiences, and how can you go wrong with Diana Krall?”

Confesses Christine of Wayne, who is here with her friend, Lisa, “Until just recently, we had never heard of Diana Krall,” explaining, “Tonight is our ‘ladies night out’ and we had planned to see Wicked in New York City, but there was a mix-up with the tickets so we decided to see what was going on at MPAC.”

Notes Lisa, “We’ve seen quite a few shows here — it’s our ‘home theater’ — and people here are always so kind and accommodating,” before Christine continues, “Even though we weren’t familiar with Diana Krall, we watched some of her videos on YouTube and loved what we heard. We ended up buying the last two tickets to tonight’s sold-out show and are looking forward to seeing her perform.”

The lights dim, and bassist Dennis Crouch and drummer Matt Chamberlain take their places on the stage as Diana Krall makes her entrance in a black pantsuit.

The crowd cheers, and Krall responds, “Thank you — it’s good to see you!”
Launching into a swinging rendition of “It’s Almost Like Being in Love,” Krall’s rich contralto voice fills the MPAC auditorium as she rhythmically accompanies herself on piano singing, “What a day this has been/What a rare mood I’m in/Why it’s almost like being in love.”

After introducing her musical colleagues, Krall announces, “I hope you’re doing well, and if not, we’ll make you feel better,” as she and the band begin their interpretation of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” which features Krall’s sparse piano chords, Crouch’s rhythmic bass, and Chamberlain’s precision drumming.

Given the stormy weather outside, Krall follows up with the timely ballad, “Let it Rain,” where she softly croons, “The angels are crying, they are shedding their tears/That’s why the rain falls from the sky/The storm will pass away, there’ll come a brighter day/So cheer up now and dry your eyes,” prior to acknowledging, “That’s a song you can’t find anywhere. It was written way back, and I found it in my dad’s 78 record collection.”

Heads bop to the swinging rhythm of “East of the Sun (West of the Moon)” where Krall’s expert hands move up and down the piano keyboard before she follows up with a song which she says is “by my favorite songwriter ever — Tom Waits.” Her sultry vocal on “Jockey Full of Bourbon” is sweetly accompanied by the rhythm section as Krall cries, “Hey little bird, fly away home, fly away home,” on this moving musical number.

Piano trills and descending arpeggios ornament the evening’s aptly chosen “Just Like a Butterfly That’s Caught in the Rain.” Music lovers cheer, and Krall responds, “Thank you so much — I’m so pleased to be playing this music.”

Recognizing the genius of Nat King Cole, Krall admits, “I listen to him every day,” prior to performing Cole’s “Just You Just Me,” where Crouch is featured on a fast and effortless bass solo and Chamberlain plays a rhythmic percussion solo with brushes before Krall joins in on the fun on this uptempo number.

Krall makes a point of acknowledging the talents of her musicians as Crouch and Chamberlain exit the stage. Shuffling through a stack of sheet music on top of her piano, Krall acknowledges, “I have so much music here I don’t want to miss anything,” before choosing to play a stride piano solo version of “Let’s Fall in Love.”

Reminiscing about Tony Bennett, Krall says, “He was a beautiful human being; I’m so happy my parents had a chance to see me perform with him. It was really hard when he passed away.” After starting to perform a solo bossa nova version of the Bennett staple, “S’Wonderful,” in the middle, Krall exclaims, “I think I went into another tune!” before circling back to “S’Wonderful” and confessing at the conclusion, “I do love doing what I do, especially when you get to hear it.”

Krall continues her tribute to Bennett with her interpretation of “The Shadow of Your Smile” which uniquely intertwines her lead vocal and piano accompaniment. She concludes the tribute with an intimate performance of “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” where she sings directly to Bennett, changing the lyric, “The way you sing off key,” to “You never sang off key.”

Music lovers warmly applaud, and Krall follows up with a unique solo R&B rendition of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.” Crouch and Chamberlain return for a jazzy version of “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye,” and Krall’s piano playing echos the styles of both Count Basie and Dave Brubeck on her interpretation of Peggy Lee’s “I’m Confessin.’”

Krall and Co. provide a minor swing blues version of Irving Berlin’s “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” before lyrics take center stage as Krall sings “They sat together in the park/As the evening sky grew dark/She looked at him and he felt a spark” on a smoky rendition of Bob Dylan’s “A Simple Twist of Fate.”

Continuing with Richard Thompson’s “Dimming of the Day,” where Chamberlain’s drums rumble and Crouch slaps his bass, Krall and the band sail into Neil Young’s Buffalo Springfield song, “Mr. Soul,” where Krall’s bluesy vocal emphasizes such rhyming lyrics as “I was down on a frown when the messenger brought me a letter/I was raised by the praise of a fan who said I upset her.”

A countrified vibe fills the air as Krall and Co. perform Tom Waits “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night,” before she and the trio conclude the evening with a swinging arrangement of the standard, “I’ll See You in My Dreams.”

The crowd stands and cheers, and Krall and her colleagues take a bow prior to returning to the stage. For her first encore, Krall’s voice and piano are featured on the Bob Dylan country waltz, “Wallflower.” For a second encore, Krall and her colleagues perform Robbie Robertson’s composition for The Band, “Ophelia,” where music lovers clap along on this funky version prior to rewarding Diana Krall and Co. with yet another standing ovation.

As audience members make their way out of the MPAC auditorium, first-time Diana Krall concertgoers Christine and Lisa from Wayne comment on her performance tonight. Declares Christine, “We were thrilled with Diana Krall’s show! We had the best time, and found out we love jazz way more than we thought we did. It was amazing, relaxing, and entertaining — we’re so happy we came!”

Adds Lisa, “Diana Krall’s voice was amazing — it was just so smoky — and I loved all the jazz she played. Also, she just made everyone feel so comfortable — her stage presence is great, and I just loved the stories she told.”

Christine concurs, explaining, “She really connected with the audience, and her musicians were fantastic, too,” prior to concluding, “Just call us Diana Krall fans, now. We can’t want to see her again!”

To learn more about Diana Krall, please go to dianakrall.com. For info on future concerts at MPAC — including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on March 24, Pat Metheny’s Dream Box Tour on April 5, The Glenn Miller Orchestra on April 28, and Buddy Guy’s Damn Right Farewell Tour on May 3 — please click on mayoarts.org.

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Spotlight Central
Spotlight Central

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