“Day-after-day you walked in and checked out photos of Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, and John Coltrane on the wall, and instantly bought lowered to the dimensions of a pea,” laughed a self-effacing Diana Krall in 2001. The Canadian singer was speaking about her visits to the hallowed floor that was Hollywood’s legendary Capitol Studios in March and June of that 12 months, which yielded her sixth album, The Look Of Love. Actually to some, the studio’s sense of historical past may very well be daunting, maybe, however based on veteran recording engineer Al Schmitt, who labored on The Look Of Love, Krall was impressed relatively than intimidated by the images on Capitol’s partitions. “She advised me they made her convey her sport up one other notch,” Schmitt recalled.
Launched by Verve on September 18, 2001, The Look Of Love – a luxurious assortment of languorous, string-laden ballads and sultry bossa novas – discovered Krall, then 36, reuniting with Grammy-winning veteran producer, the late Tommy LiPuma, who had labored with the singer since 1995 and helmed her earlier three LPs. “We have now six years of belief and are on the level the place we are able to say something to one another,” recalled Krall in 2001, describing her symbiotic relationship with LiPuma, whose quite a few credit included George Benson, Al Jarreau, Randy Crawford, Barbra Streisand, and Paul McCartney. “I can say something to him and he can say something to me. We respect one another. It’s in all probability the perfect working relationship I’ve ever had.”
Take heed to The Look Of Love proper now.
Becoming a member of LiPuma and Krall was the producer’s trusted sidekick, Al Schmitt, famend for his consideration to sonic element. “They’re this nice workforce,” enthused Krall, “and so they see you stripped down – not within the literal sense, however they actually see you susceptible and uncovered and pissed off and joyous. Making music with them is a really intimate course of.”
Explaining how The Look Of Love took form, Krall mentioned, “I had an idea after which I sat down with Tommy and we made an inventory of about 25 tunes. Then we went and recorded them with simply piano and voice and labored out which of them must be tried and which of them must be saved for later. Then it was a technique of recording 17 tunes after which whittling them right down to 10 for the album.”
“We recorded all of the rhythm tracks in Studio A at Capitol Studios in Hollywood,” recalled Al Schmitt. “It’s considered one of my favourite rooms and it turned like our lounge, it was so snug to be there. Diana cherished it and she or he bought to make use of Frank Sinatra’s microphone, the one which he used on most of his songs that have been recorded at Capitol, so there was an exquisite feeling of the spirits there that linger within the room, and it made everyone simply convey their sport up a bit of bit.”
By way of its materials, the album principally comprised requirements from the Nice American Songbook, although the report’s centerpiece, and title monitor, was the youngest tune, having been written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David within the mid-60s. Krall transforms it right into a sensuous boss nova, whose temper is enhanced by the presence of a giant string orchestra organized and performed by the redoubtable German arranger, the late Claus Ogerman, whose quite a few credit ranged from Invoice Evans and Stan Getz to George Benson and Frank Sinatra.
“Claus was my all-time favourite arranger,” mentioned Al Schmitt. “He’s the arrangers’ arranger and top-of-the-line ever. Any time you’d discuss to a different arranger, they might say Claus was the man.” The string periods – with the arranger conducting – happened at Abbey Street studios in London. “We did them with the London Symphony Orchestra,” mentioned Krall. “It’s such an excellent orchestra. It was superb as a result of they have been so into it. It was only a pleasure.”
Producer Tommy LiPuma and engineer Al Schmitt had been working as a workforce because the late 70s, however knew one another earlier than that. Schmitt recalled, “Tommy and I met in 1962 after I was his employees producer at RCA and he was a tune plugger. He had 100% religion and belief in me within the management room getting the sounds proper. He hardly ever was within the management sales space and stayed out within the studio with the musicians as a result of if he heard one thing he didn’t like or needed to alter, he might instantly reply to it.”
In accordance with Schmitt, LiPuma’s most important energy was placing everybody he labored with, together with Diana Krall, comfortable. “He made everyone really feel so snug,” he mentioned. “I by no means noticed Tommy get indignant within the studio. He at all times might work out a state of affairs with none type of problem if issues have been hectic or there have been some fallacious issues happening. He made issues simple. His periods went easily so there was by no means any stress to get issues accomplished at a sure time.”
The veteran recording engineer first collaborated with Diana Krall in 1995 and noticed, with every challenge they labored on, how she blossomed as a musician. “She simply bought higher with each album,” he said. “It was fantastic to look at. Each time she was within the studio, she realized one thing… Proper now, she’s on the high of her sport. Her  album, Flip Up The Quiet, the final album that Tommy and I labored on collectively, which was additionally recorded at Capitol, is only a gorgeous report.”
Recalling the blending periods at Capitol, Diana Krall mentioned, “The management sales space was like within the Sinatra days. A bunch of individuals have been there: [jazz pianist] Horace Silver, Michael Feinstein; the Bergmans [noted husband-and-wife songwriting team, Alan and Marilyn] additionally confirmed up.”
The Look Of Love proved a complete creative and business triumph. It went Platinum within the US, Canada, Australia, France, and New Zealand, and instantly reworked Krall right into a jazz famous person with sold-out concert events everywhere in the world. Al Schmitt reaped a Grammy award for his work on the album. “It felt good,” mentioned the engineer. “If you win one thing that’s for a labor of affection and is pricey to your coronary heart, it’s at all times good.”
The Look Of Love stays a musical touchstone in Diana Krall’s profession, and arguably represents the head of her artistic collaboration with Tommy LiPuma, who died on March 18, 2017, aged 80. “He’s like one other artist,” mentioned Diana Krall, summing up the producer’s distinctive attributes in 2001. “He’s so into the music, and that’s his at first precedence, to the purpose the place it’s like, ‘Do the music first and we’ll promote it after.’ He’s very intense and has a really emotional sense of issues. I’m so fortunate I met him. Any person else may not have allowed me to do a report like this.”
This text was first revealed in 2017. We’re re-publishing it in the present day to have a good time the anniversary of its launch. The Look Of Love will be purchased right here.