Krall at the Fox

We caught Diana Krall at the Fabulous Fox Theatre last night.  I say caught because in the middle of the week, on a school night, I had purchased the tickets without realizing that I had a business function.  I scrambled to get rid of the tickets to no avail but I’m glad it worked out.A trumpet player named Chris Botti was the opener – he’s from Oregon.  This guy spoke more words than played notes in his hour long set.  He kept introducing the players in the band as “I saw this guy playing and knew I had to have him in my band.”  He had no clue.  For he was playing trumpet for them.  Sorry – I just don’t have much appreciation for Kenny G type of jazz and this guy melted it all over the stage.  Velveeta baby.

I think Tracey thought I was nuts after seeing Mr. Botti.  But any doubts she had quickly flew away the moment Diana Krall hit the first key and sang her first note.  I can’t really describe in words how great it sounded.  Not just her but the muscians playing with her and the fluid chemistry that spun from their fingers.  There were smiles all night.  Poetry in motion.

If you have Diana’s Krall’s “Live in Paris” CD and/or DVD, her show here in St. Louis was practically a mirror image with the same tunes making the list.  However, the tempo, some melodies, and improv were much different.  It’s as though she makes them harder on purpose, playing with the audience’s emotions.  There were some softer moments of the program where she described having her children on tour with her, her growing up a band kid, and mentioning her husband Elvis Costello.

Her piano play was masterful.  Her voice electric.  Her passion contagious.  Don’t miss her if she comes to your neighborhood.

The Fox Theatre was incredible as well.  I think every town has a “Fox Theatre”.  Apparently the St. Louis Fox is “the” Fox Theatre.  I can’t really describe the decor, only to mention that it was like stepping back into the 1920’s/1930’s.  Just an overall classic art deco kind of place with giant columns in the lobby, wide sweeping stair cases, green porcelin tile with white sinks and urenils in the men’s room (not to mention the smoking lounge outside of the men’s room with velvet covered couches and chairs), and giant auditorium.  This place is definitely first class.

The only negative was the size.  When I was a kid my Dad would take me to dive jazz clubs in New Orleans.  Hey it was New Orleans.  Any third or fourth grader could make it into a Jazz club accompanied by a parent back then.  Dad would sip on bourbon over ice.  I was sip on my ice cold Coca-Cola.  But the jazz was hot.  I think this is the way God intended jazz to be enjoyed.  Place 3-4 muscians on a cramped stage in a smoky hot room with no more than a hundred people and then let the music stir from the souls.  The downside to seeing Diana Krall at the Fox was sitting still packed between snooty people who drinking no alcohol found it hard to crack a smile.

But please by all means catch Diana at a venue near you.  Just make sure you have your glass of bourbon and drink a couple of more glasses for those around you, and for me too.

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