The Beatnik’s Birthday Albums, The Girl Singers

Diana Krall’s Turn Up The Quiet

Turn Up the Quiet is Diana Krall’s 13th studio album, and on this recording Krall reunites with Grammy Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma. I listened to this Verve recording on the 150 gram double LP, but there is music on only three sides. It was pressed at URP and mastered by Eric Boulanger. It LP comes with a limited-time download card for the full album. It is also available as a CD, a FLAC 96kHz/24bit download, and as a  192kHz/24bit download.

Turn Up the Quiet celebrates jazz and the Great American Songbook as Krall returns to jazz with standards that she so loves to sing and play. I enjoyed this Diana Krall album more than any of her recent albums, mainly because it is her return to The American Song Book for most of her songs on this album. My two favorite Krall albums have always been All For You, A Dedication To The Nat King Cole Trio and Love Scenes. After these two, I have found her studio albums less interesting, but I like her live albums very much.

This album is chock full of great musicians; there is bassist Christian McBride and guitarist Russell Malone, then later on the album, there is  Karriem Riggins on drums, Tony Garnier on bass, Marc Rabit on guitar and Stuart Duncan on fiddle. The third ensemble on Turn Up The Quiet consists of guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton, Jr., and drummer Jeff Hamilton. When you combine jazz players like this with the piano playing and singing of Krall, you have one great album musically.

I should mention that several cuts on this recording seems to over emphasize the air around her voice. And, I must say that it also isn’t the most dynamic recording I have heard lately. My vinyl copy was not as quiet as I would have hoped for either. Still, I have already listened to it three times, and I find it a very satisfying musical experience.

Anne Bisson’s Blue Mind

Blue Mind was Anne Bissons’ first commercial recording. It was originally produced and recorded live at Reference Studio in St-Calixte, Quebec by Guy St. Orge on July 21-22, 2008 and quickly became a favorite of those of us who love female singers. It was originally released on vinyl or as a deluxe CD version containing two extra songs “Secret Survivor” and “New Start.”

This album has been released as an 180 gram LP, and then almost two years ago by Brilliance Music and Studios and Gary Koh, Genesis Advanced Technologies on 15-ups, 2-track, reel-to-reel tape. This tape sold for a cool $600. Now, we have a hand-numbered, limited edition 180-gram 45 RPM Blue Vinyl double limited edition of only 1,000 copies. These may be the most beautifully colored vinyl LPs I have ever seen. They also come in a deluxe laminated gatefold jacket! It was remastered by Bernie Grundman and pressed at RTI. Thank goodness it only costs $55.

As you listen, you will discover that Bisson has an innate sense of composition. Her music is warm and intimate and moves my soul. In addition to the great songs, her voice is gently alluring and inviting. At the same time, it can be fragile and haunting in a way that draws me into her music.

There are lots of options of ways to hear this wonderful album, and the music on any of them will draw you in. If you love this album the way I do, I highly suggest you act quickly while this 45 RPM edition is still available. Still, I want to say again this is a great album on any medium.

Lillie Mae’s Forever And Then Some

Forever And Then Some was produced by Jack White, III at Third Man Studio in Nashville, with Grammy Award-nominated engineer Joshua V. Smith behind the board. So far, I haven’t found any of the Third Man Studio releases to be the quietest LPs, but this one sounds good enough not to detract from the wonderful performance. I like this album, and I hope you will as well.

Lillie Mae has played on stages across America since she was three years old.  After spending some time streaming some of her music, I decided to order her debut album. She is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter-musician On this album, she performs classic country, bluegrass, and blues with her own style to create an album of rebellious romance.

It’s a little more country than it is blues or bluegrass, but I still found it to be great fun. The album’s wistful first cut is  “Over The Hill and Through The Woods.” It is a very engaging performance.  I liked both “Wash Me Clean” and “Over The Hill and Through The Woods.” They stand out for their intimacies and their way of moving me emotionally. I find her music a little hard to describe, but I suggest you give her a listen.