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Wallflower - Diana Krall

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The Wall Street Journal is exclusively premiering Diana Krall’s sultry rendition of The Mamas & The Papas’ classic “California Dreamin'” from her forthcoming album “Wallflower,” due out on Verve Records on October 21.
“California Dreamin” had intrigued Diana Krall for years—more than a decade, in fact—before the jazz singer got around to recording theMamas & the Papas’ 1965 hit for her new album “Wallflower.” Krall premieres her version of the song today on Speakeasy, along with a video that shows her performing the song solo on piano.

Krall’s studio take, produced by Verve Music Group Chairman David Foster, is spare and somber as she reduces the familiar, harmony-stacked melody to a simple vocal line lightly brushed with piano and rich swells of strings. The pace picks up on the second verse with a smooth bassline and electronic rhythm track that tilts toward bossa nova. There are also distant, hazy backing vocals from Graham Nash.

“I thought about how to do it for the last 12 years as I always found the sense of longing in the song intriguing,” Krall says by email. “I mentioned it to David then played a Shugie Otis record. Wanted that kind of vibe on something. So they took it from there and the haunting arrangement with that beat is perfect. Having Graham Nash singing on it makes it extra mind-blowingly special for me.”

Krall, 49, was born the year before the Mamas & the Papas released “California Dreamin’.” She says she doesn’t remember not being familiar with the song. “I first heard ‘California Dreamin’’ on the radio, I suppose as a kid,” she says. “It’s one of those songs you know but don’t remember learning, like it’s always been there.”
Due Oct. 21 on Verve, “Wallflower” also includes Krall’s versions of songs by Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Crowded House and the Eagles, among others.

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Last modified on Friday, 19 September 2014 14:57

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