Diana Krall in synonymous with jazz, but in this latest endeavour she takes that elegantly smooth, but rustic, voice and applies it to some of the most iconic classic rock and pop songs in the music history. The renditions are absolutely beautiful and definitely rival those of the original performers.
Despite being a fan of the jazz genre, I was oblivious to Krall until a couple of years ago when her album, The Look Of Love, was re-issued on the High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray format. To say that album is a masterpiece, is a gross understatement. In my opinion, it is the epitome of jazz in the modern era. Despite having this high-resolution version, of the album, I have just noticed that Original Recordings Group (ORG) has just re-issued the album in a limited, numbered, edition 45RPM pressing that I will have to order.
ORG releases, such as the Dances With Wolves soundtrack, are incredibly well mastered and pressed. While they are expensive, they are highly sought-after by record collectors and their value increases significantly when out of print. While I don’t intend on ever selling my records, I look upon the hobby as an investment that can be passed onto my children. Yes, they are continually told how valuable these records are.
Wallflower is spectacular and Krall manages to apply her own unique style, while remaining true to the originals that are so loved, and appreciated, by millions of listeners throughout the world. It is always difficult to listen to songs that have been re-interpreted when you know the original so well, but this album is not one to fear as you will be blown away by renditions that are, in many cases, superior to the originals. Yes, that is a bold statement, but despite being a massive fan of the Eagles, I have never heard Desperado and I Can’t Tell You Why, performed so magnificently.
Truth be told, I could say the very same thing about every song on the album. All songs that is except for a Paul McCartney written, but never recorded, song called If I Take You Home Tonight. Honestly, the song is incredible. McCartney is a song writing prodigy, but with Krall’s vocal talent, the song goes to places that I don’t think McCartney could have even dreamt of.
I’ve yet to pick up my own copy of this album, although I have added the vinyl release to my wish list. I have also added the CD of Wallflower: The Complete Sessions to the wish list as the live performances, and selections that didn’t make it to the 12-track vinyl release, are exceptional in their own right and deserve to be owned. Knowing my luck, the Verve Music Group will release an expanded vinyl edition just after I purchase the standard edition.
For now, I will be content listening to Wallflower on TIDAL Hi-Fi. The mastering is exceptional and truly shows off not only how good the album is, but how good a non-lossy streaming service can be. Yes, there is a Mastered for iTunes version available via Apple Music and iTunes, but I haven’t felt compelled to listen via these methods, as the beforementioned service fulfills my needs for this album.
It is also interesting to note that a SACD edition is available for those of you with compatible equipment. While I’m definitely a proponent of high-resolution audio formats, the mastering of this release is so perfect that I don’t feel a great improvement will be heard over the standard CD release. That said, most of Krall’s catalogue has been released on SACD over the years and recently there seems to have been a resurgence of the format. It won’t become mainstream, but I really appreciate that consumers have the ability to choose a format that best suits their requirements.
Working with producer extraordinaire, David Foster, Krall has delivered an album that not only brings her musical direction to a mainstream audience, but showcases how very talented she is as a musician.
You have to hear this album; it really is that good!