JAZZ DIANA KRALL
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Tue 5 Feb
Diana Krall is a phenomenon. In one of these ultimately inexplicable quirks of fate, she has been elevated from the numerous ranks of wannabe women jazz singers to international stardom. When her latest album, The Look Of Love, was released last year, her face not only adorned the cover of just about every jazz magazine around, but featured in the style supplements and even - courtesy of her friendship with Clint Eastwood - the gossip
So how did a pretty, talented girl from a small
Jazz musicians rarely have to deal with that level of fame and Krall seems to be coping well with the spotlight. Mind you, she doesn’t chose to define herself as a jazz singer, preferring to try to set aside such categories.
‘I’m not that cerebral about music,’ she says. ‘l‘m very emotional, so I’ll put things on and I don’t even know what they are. For me, it’s not about jazz or bossa nova or whatever, it’s about the music being what it is. I don’t think about category, only about the thing you create. I love the true jazz singers, but I don’t think of myself as a jazz singer. I try to be as natural as I can, and I’m fortunate that I’ve been allowed to grow publicly as an artist in my
town in British Columbia get to be jazz’s own way.’
number one cover girl? Hard to say. The talent and the good looks explain some of that, but she’s not the only one with those. Shrewd marketing and the progressive glamorisation of her image have helped generate media
attention and pump up CD sales.
Ultimately, though, Krall has plugged into something indefinable. Her combination of look and sound has struck home with a huge, still
growing audience. She is sophisticated, but not cares to take it.
too technical. Her music works on a serious listening level, but it also works as aural wallpaper for dinner parties. She is pretty enough to be a sex symbol, and ordinary
enough to be the girl next door.
King Tut’s, Glasgow, Thu 31 Jan, La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, Thu 28 Feb
‘I prefer being musically isolated.‘ says Clinic vocalist Ade Blackburn. 'You choose that lifestyle when you make music like we do.‘ Ploughing yOur own musrcal furrow is a lonely business.
Clinic have never played by the industry rulebook since these four Liverpudlians. all notoriously clad for heart surgery. rose to John Peel prominence a few years ago on the back of the Sparky single ‘IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth.’
But with all things NYC retro on the media front nowadays. surely Clinic's scuzzy guitar and keyboard assaults are about to end their own seclusion? Blackburn is unsure. ‘I don‘t think there's much danger of us getting lumped in with the Strokes.‘ he says. relieved. 'It might have been a possibility before. but the new album is a lot different. not very common listenrng.‘
Clinic's second long-player Walking With Thee certainly offers up a fresh- tasting slice of retro pie: snipped-out innards of many a yesteryear sewn up into a satisfyineg contemporary creation. ‘The overall 50und of the new album is
less trashy and garagey.‘ Blackburn explains. 'We were trying to be more atmospheric. There's more basic instrumentation. often based arOund electric piano and harn‘onica - we were trying to make things more spacious. less cluttered. use less distortion'
Moreover. the nursery rhyme n‘antras of Blackburn's DFCVIOUS vocals now seem to have more purpose. 'Yeah. the lyrics are still like nursery rhymes. but these songs are more introspective and they have more of a theme in general. What I like. and what I try to convey. is that there's always a sinister side to a nursery rhyme. some kind of darker message like in 'Ring-a-ring O" Boses'.'
The new material has already been spread infectioust well at some Christmas-time gigs. Indeed. Clinic are now seasoned performers having built a solid reputation Stateside and having recently toured with Radiohead - although Blackburn has no plans for a stadium tOLir yet.
‘When we play live the songs are a lot more raucous and I think that works better in small clubs. There's a danger of that kind of music getting lost when the audience only sees yoti on video screens.‘
Nothing like a sweaty club to spread mu3ical isolation. (Jan F. Zeshcky)
Stitching up the competition
Maybe a big part of the answer lies right there. Krall has the gift of emotional expressiveness and enough technique to make it work time after time. She appeals to listeners who listen to nothing but jazz and to listeners who would ordinarily run a mile when the ‘j’ word is mentioned: a very rare combination. That natural, unforced expressiveness in her music is accessible on any level the listener
‘What really motivates me is how it feels to play music and the emotional connection between the musicians when we play, and with completely creative musical situations that give the audience. I’ve been lucky to work with great musicians over the years, and it is these
A diamond of a jazz singer
you the push to move forward.’ (Kenny Mathieson)
ROCK KITTIE QMU, Glasgow, Sat 2 Feb
Not older but wiser
Kittie's Morgan Lander is a'i‘a/ed. '\‘-.'hen you .ook at these Behind The Musrc type shows on MTV and see how i) :~on.e izke Motley Crue go envy and drink loads of alcohol and they don't exert Kl‘iO‘.'.' ‘-.'.iher'e their n‘oney's geing. and the; ‘.'.'ake up one (tag. and itité‘, 'i‘e .ike: “Oh. ‘.'.'e'i‘e broke!" after selling fifteen l"'“l()ll (ill).i‘.'l‘8 . . . how can that happen?!‘
No Such hedonistic idiocy from Kztt e though. They may be tender in years (all still in their teens: and be be// e l"£tt(§'S w'th metai legends Pantera. keen on a party. '.'.xith Town“, lee and can reduce n‘enibers of Slipknot to tears in bouts of tour bus an"-\.-."'estling. out no for Canadian n‘etallei's Kittie s the .iiiccr‘ti'cllahle rocky road to excess.
Having been pei'sc lath. Ell‘.!i(3(l b, Pantera to l()|ll O/xfest last year. and trekked the US inc issantl‘, ll‘ the 'ikes < f the aforenrentioned Slipknot. the trio islin‘ined doz'xn ii'on‘ a quartet on their debut: have. says Lander. matured both n‘usica'l; and in their approach to the inLiSic industry ".Xi’e'ye done so n‘anﬁ. tours ‘.'.’llll a lot of hard-hitting bands. and watching then‘ up ciose. '.'.’|ill so n‘any wild and cra/y fans. has really helped us .ook at oiii'selxes and ask: "How can we do IlllS better?" It's not eye.“ a conscious ii‘lf’tl. but we alu'xays learn something.
‘The whole O//t’est tn ng '.'.'a:; rear}, cool for LlS. Panteia in n‘y ey es. have done the right thing; -t won :t be "ice to us to coi‘tinue to piay a heavy brand of rock and never (T:)ll‘l‘.":7'l‘5flt?. rie\.'<:-r‘ change and keep our integrity'
With their debut album 8;»? l‘.(§ft‘,l‘.;".gl at) sales o‘ well oxer half a million, and last year's lllll)"(?f3t§§‘.ti~ fallout .il‘ ()iao‘e set to foilou‘.’ suit. Kittie's fans are legion. and they Lit)l7‘(‘: in ai. snapes and s/es, "We get loads of older won‘en in lit(}lt'~1(lf;£tll(lfiilS‘L’llOélft?2711071101;“Sttylllgi "I wish I'd been playing guitar ‘.'.’f‘.(:7‘ l was tour age." And we get Just as many guys and girls (i()l‘i‘..".§] up to Us and saying we inspired then‘ to pick up a guitar." iVirtki, Davidson
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