It's obviously a good thing that we all have different tastes, but I sometimes wonder whether we've listened to the same album (meaning the disparaging reviews elsewhere on this page).
It seems to me that this album moves Ms Krall determinedly forward; I've enjoyed her previous works, and her re-interpretations of the "standards" have been new, fresh and invigorating; however, it seems to me that fundamentally, re-hashing songs that so many artists have covered before is ultimately a bit of a cul-de-sac.
This album is a very effective bridge; it combines new material co-written by Krall & Costello with a selection of covers of other composer's songs - less well known than in the past, but very well chosen. (Incidentally, the fabulous cover of Mose Allinson's "Stop this World" is hardly - to answer another reviewer's criticism - contemporary). Stand out tracks for me are the version of Joni Mitchell's "Black Crow" (from the "Hejira" album), and the beautiful self-penned "Narrow Daylight" - which is currently getting a lot of radio airplay as a single.
The sound of the record is unmistakeably Krall; yes she's extended the instrumentation from her traditional trio, with the addition of percussion more or less throughout, and some occasional Hammond organ, but the overwhelming sounds are those of her voice and piano. Consequently, it seems to me that stylistically this excellent performance happily and consciously links backwards to the sounds of her previous work, but stretches forward with the less obvious covers, and the introduction of her own material.
Altogether, very enjoyable and much recommended. Why not 5 stars? Having made the connection with Joni Mitchell's masterwork, it can't measure up to that pinnacle.