Diana Krall and the Colorado Symphony at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO on 7/18/17

It wasn’t the typical Red Rocks crowd. The cars in the parking lot were a little nicer. The fans walking into the venue were a little more sober. And the music of the evening was a little jazzier. The majority of the men wore all different varieties and colors of Hawaiian shirts (I didn’t get the memo or the reason). Everyone was there for the music of the Great American Song Book performed by Diana Krall and the Colorado Symphony.

The Colorado Symphony – All photos by the Rock and Roll Princess

Christopher Dragon, the talented assistant conductor with cartoon like facial expressions, set the tone. Dragon described growing up in Australia wishing to be a piano player/singer like Diana Krall. His life didn’t exactly follow her path, but Dragon happily led the symphony through classic American standards to warm up the crowd. The Colorado Symphony played Louis Armstrong, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin’s An American in Paris.  Christopher Dragon warned, “the song is not about that famous American (the one with that Twitter account) that recently went to Paris.”

Diana Krall and her band

Diana Krall started playing piano at the age of four in Canada (her family was so Canadian that her brother was in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). After attending the Berklee College of Music on a scholarship, she moved to Los Angeles, California to play jazz (her brother stayed in Canada with his horse). Success soon followed with collaborations with Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, and Sir Paul McCartney (to name only a few).  She later married some funny looking dude with glasses named Elvis Costello (they have twin ten year old boys).

Diana Krall

The percussion section was removed (Krall has her own drummer).  Her world-class arranger Alan Broadbent replaced Christopher Dragon as the conductor. That’s when Diana Krall and her band took their places in front of the Colorado Symphony. Wearing a blue dress with white stars (an artist that has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide doesn’t simply wear polka dots). Krall expressed how excited she was to be playing Red Rocks. “I don’t usually speak before I start, but who cares. I’m excited.” That was her introduction to Do I Love You. The track featured the amazing guitarist and Eric Clapton doppelgänger Anthony Wilson. It also spotlighted Krall’s amazing piano playing. Her fingers danced across her keyboard with incredible grace and speed. Krall followed that with George and Ira Gershwin’s I Was Doing All Right (made famous by Ella Fitzgerald in 1959), and Cole Porter’s Night and Day.

Diana Krall, her jazz band, and the Colorado Symphony

My favorite song of the night was Tom Wait’s Temptation – “Rusted brandy in a diamond glass/Everything is made from dreams/Time is made from honey slow and sweet/Only the fools know what it means.” It was reassuring to hear that one of my favorite songwriters can hold his own against Gershwin and Porter when performed by the jazz siren Diana Krall.

A sudden gust of wind blew her sheet music up into the lighting rigs. Just as if it was planned, Krall played the tornado theme music from The Wizard of Oz as members of the symphony caught the papers. That’s when Diana Krall admitted that she couldn’t really read the music without her glasses.  “But you people can’t handle me in glasses.” That’s the moment she played Eddie DeLange’s 1933 classic Moonglow. The lyrics summed up the evening perfectly, “We seemed to float right through the air/Heavenly songs seemed to come from everywhere.”

See you at the next show.  I’ll be the one chasing after sheet music in a colorful Hawaiian shirt in the moon glow.

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