Diana Krall’s arrival at Miami’s Arsht Center Tuesday night offers a departure. The singer-pianist’s performance is part of a tour in support of the album “Glad Rag Doll,” an October release on the Verve Records jazz label that was produced by T Bone Burnett, best known for the trail-blazing alt-country and roots rock of artists such as Roy Orbison, John Mellencamp, the Grammy- winning Allison Krauss/Robert Plant collaboration, and albums with Krall’s husband, Elvis Costello.
The result is an astonishing mix of country-tinged Americana, guitar-driven blues, rock, gospel and jazz, the latter drawn from ‘20s and ‘30s pop songs Krall says she plucked from her father's 78s. Both Krall and Burnett have shown an unerring ear for a song and how to bend it, and fans of the singer’s more traditional balladry clearly are being challenged.
But the album is remarkable collection of small surprises. Here are three new Krall songs we hope she performs Tuesday night:
“Wide River to Cross”: A beautiful, lonely ballad, equal parts country, gospel, melancholy and molasses, written by the influential songwriter-guitarist Buddy Miller and wife Judy, with subtle backing vocals from Costello.
“Lonely Avenue”: The bluesy rocker that was a 1956 hit for Ray Charles and written by the cult hero Doc Pomus. Its dark mix of anger and regret has proven irresistible to many performers over the years, with covers by Stephen Marley, Los Lobos and Van Morrison, to name a few.
“There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears”: On the album Krall tells her man off to the bouncy call of fuzzy blues-rock guitar and rollicking roadhouse piano. It could have been written yesterday by Lucinda Williams, but instead came from Tin Pan Alley poet Fred Fisher.
IF YOU GO
Diana Krall performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets: $55-$125. Info: 305-949-6722, ArshtCenter.org