Glamorous jazz crooner Diana Krall takes a cautious step from the easy-listening background to the pop foreground with the assistance of her celebrated partner, Elvis Costello, on the elegantly understated The Girl In The Other Room (out Tuesday). Costello's fingerprints are all over the disc. He appears to have had a hand in selecting tracks like Mose Allison's bitter Stop This World - quite a bit more cynical than the romantic standards that Krall is famous for cooing - in addition to providing some telltale lyrical embellishments. Yet Krall does an admirable job of making it all sound pleasantly her own, including the obvious Costello-isms (rhyming "flown" with "gramophone" on Departure Bay) and covers of Tom Waits's Temptation, Joni Mitchell's Black Crow and Bonnie Raitt's Love Me Like A Man (penned by Chris Smither). Tommy LiPuma shows unusual restraint in laying off the schmaltzy strings for an austere small-combo vibe that should work just as well in intimate restaurants as corner coffee shops.
Diana Krall plays four songs with her quartet at Union Station's Great Hall Wednesday (April 28) at 2 pm.