Diana Krall: If I Had You

Diana Krall lets Benny Green take over the keyboard for this performance, and they send the rest of the rhythm section packing. Although this song is the closing track on a Nat King Cole tribute album, Green oddly decides to adopt a piano style from a generation before Cole, a four-to-the-bar stride that could have served as the first dance at your grandpa's wedding. But Green is such a stylish accompanist that your ear ignores the anachronisms, and focuses instead on the beauty of this intimate duet. Krall is always perfectly at home at these snail's-pace tempos, and she squeezes every last ounce of emotion out of these lyrics -- especially during the rubato interlude before the final coda. There is a little more soul than Cole in her delivery, but the finest tribute is sometimes putting your own spin on the traditions you inherit.

May 24, 2008 · 1 comment


Lennie Tristano (with Lee Konitz): If I Had You

Mr. Tristano's musical persona had so many different sides. Here he comps with thick, bouncy voicings behind Konitz's lyrical improvisation, then digs in with a block-chords-from-hell solo. Imagine how George Shearing might have played if he had possessed an extra few fingers, and you will have some idea of what this sounds like. But Konitz comes back sweet as your sister on her first date, and you would never guess that anyone had roughed up the keyboard. Another great track from Tristano's memorable live date in that unlikely setting, the Sing Song Room of the Confucius Restaurant.

May 07, 2008 · 0 comments


Nat King Cole: If I Had You

During their 1940s heyday, the King Cole Trio swept up material with the tenacity of a Hoover (the vacuum cleaner, not the G-man) and the gilt touch of Midas (the king, not the muffler). From blues to bop, soft- shoe patter to hepcat jive, even light classical takeoffs, the KCT was cool, clean and clear as crystal. But what really put them over, and crowned Nat Cole King, was balladry. Roasting this particular 1928 chestnut on an open fire, they all but changed gray skies to blue, pledging: "There is nothing I couldn't do, if I had you."

December 04, 2007 · 0 comments


Previous Page | Next Page