With her pre-bop piano style, cool but sensual singing, and fortuitously photogenic looks, Diana Krall took the jazz world by storm in the late ’90s. By the turn of the century she was firmly established as one of the biggest sellers in jazz. Her 1996 album, All for You, was a Nat King Cole tribute that showed the singer/pianist’s roots, and since then she has stayed fairly close to that tradition-minded mode, with wildly successful results.
Krall got her musical education when she was growing up in Nanaimo, British Columbia, from the classical piano lessons she began at age four and in her high school jazz band, but mostly from her father, a stride piano player with an extensive record collection. “I think Dad has every recording Fats Waller ever made,” she said, “and I tried to learn them all.”
Krall attended the Berklee College of Music on a music scholarship in the early ’80s and then moved to Los Angeles, where she lived for three years before moving to Toronto. By 1990, she was based in New York, performing with a trio and singing. After releasing her first album on Justin Time Records, Krall was signed to GRP for her second, Only Trust Your Heart, and transferred to its Impulse! division for her third, the Nat King Cole Trio tribute album called All for You. Love Scenes followed in 1997, and in late 1998, she issued the seasonal Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.