Compilations are always a tricky business. When the task is as simple as putting together songs that reached the top of the charts, it's not too difficult to figure out; but when it comes to putting together an overview of an artist who isn't aimed at the charts, it's quite another story. "The Very Best of Diana Krall" succeeds nonetheless.
Given Diana Krall's reputation as one of our era's most prominent jazz vocalists, and given the fact that she has released quite a lot of studio albums ever since her recording career started in the 90s, there was a lot of ground to cover. "The Very Best" offers a generous serving of Krall's lush jazz sounds; there are fifteen tracks (plus the gorgeous "Narrow daylight" included as a bonus on the Canadian edition), for a running total of 79 minutes. She has thrown in most of the songs associated with her ("The look of love", "Let's face the music and dance", "Peel me a grape", "S'Wonderful", "All or nothing at all") but also two live recordings and three previously-unreleased tracks. All this is delivered with Krall's instantly recognizable sultry vocals, and her signature piano playing.
Some of Krall's albums are strangely overlooked in this retrospective. There is only one song from the lovely "From this moment on" album (although she definitely picked the right one, "Little girl blue"). As for "The girl in the other room", arguably her strongest album, "Narrow daylight" is the only track included here(although "The heart of Saturday night", an unreleased track, stems from the sessions of that album). One might observe that a good part of the songs picked here come from either the "When I look in your eyes" or "The look of love" albums.
Still, it's a minor complaint; this compilation is a great way to get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with Diana Krall's music. Can't wait for the next studio album !
This deluxe edition includes a fine DVD of live performances and promo clips from Diana Krall's career. Her live performances of "What are you doing New Year's eve", "Fly me to the moon" and "Temptation" (a song that she should have included on the CD...) are the highlights of the DVD, and diehard fans will want to add the extra bucks to get their hands on this edition.