Diana Krall at Wolf Trap—and a Diverse Second Half to the Season
If you spent your whole summer catching all or many of the performances and acts at the Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, you might just ran the gamut of every kind of musical genre that exists, from pop rock to rhythm and blues to country, to opera and symphony music, to classic jazz to classical music.
It’s enough to make your musical head spin—in just one week, you can go musically from here to there, beginning with the clean, clear, optimistic and original vocal stylings of the Indigo Girls (Tuesday), neo-soul, singer-songerwriter and Grammy Award winner Jill Scott (Wednesday), to the reunion of Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals (Thursday), and folk and Americana legend Rufus Wainwright (Friday).
Sometimes, as was the case with legendary jazz stylist Diana Krall last Saturday, you get the best of many possible worlds. Krall—she’s married to Elvis Costello, is the mother of two, a native of British Columbia—is notable just by walking on stage, letting the blonde shake out and singing with a clarity that seems both effortless and powerful. A pre-eminent jazz singer, she’s lately been branching out, or rather looking backward a little in terms of musical offerings and interest, beginning with the album “Glad Rag Doll,” which explored 1920s man-woman blues, and most recently, with “Wallflower,” which made up large parts of her concert with the Wolf Trap Orchestra.
In “Wallflower,” Krall looked to the music of her youth, specifically songs written by some of the top song-writers of the late twentieth century, including the title tune “Wallflower,” by Bob Dylan, which, if you missed the concert, you can catch on YouTube with Krall singing in an off-handed, but moving manner. It’s as clear as a troubadour singing a farewell song. While hitting personal and popular jazz tropes, Krall made “Wallflower” a key part of the concert, trolling the album list, which includes such songs as “California Dreamin’” (Michelle and John Phillips), “Desperado” (Glenn Frey and Don Henley of The Eagles, just announced as 2015 Kennedy Center honorees), “Superstar”, which the late Karen Carpenter sang, Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word,” as well as Jim Croce’s “Operator,” among others.
Diversity remains the watchword at Wolf Trap all through August—opera with “Madame Butterfly,” Aug. 7; “The Music of John Williams” (Aug. 8) and the music of “Star Trek" (Aug. 2), and “The Rodgers Family: A Century of Musicals” (Aug. 1 and 2); ever popular rockers “Counting Crows”on Aug. 10; the one-of-a-kind Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Aug. 14; country stars “Little Big Town” on Aug. 26; the rare-fried make you jump rock stars “ZZ Top”; the Jersey Boys themselves, Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, Aug. 19; the return of Gladys Knight and the Pips, Aug. 22; blasts from the past “The Beach Boys”, August 23 and 2013 Kennedy Center Honoree Santana and the great vocalist Kristin Chenoweth, August 28.
Makes your head spin.