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Krall receives standing ovations


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POSTED: Saturday, March 28, 2009

Diana Krall has been one of my favorite musical performers ever since Pops Conductor Matt Catingub first brought her here years ago. Fast forward: In shows at Blaisdell Concert Hall March 19 and 20, she earned standing ovations; and Matt was given a warm tribute by singers, musicians and friends to celebrate his 10th anniversary as Pops conductor. Krall strikes me as a fun person to be around, judging from her humorous remarks and stories she sometimes tells between numbers. For example, she told how she was invited to the White House to perform and said she “;was a mess”; over it because President Barack Obama and Stevie Wonder were in the front row. She didn't brag about her performance but I'm sure she wowed them and other distinguished guests. When the presidential gig was over, she said she went to a piano bar where an old-timer was on the keys. Diana, beside being a knock-out singer, is a fabulous pianist, and she took a turn at the piano. After she finished, the old-timer told her, “;Girl, you gotta work on your left hand.”; And the “;girl”; who had just played for the President of the United States of America, said, “;He was right”; ...

Diana opened the Blaisdell concert with “;I Love Being Here With You”; and followed with a string of jazz and pops standards. She was backed by her marvelous trio of guitarist Anthony Wilson, bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The fine Symphony orchestra accompanied them on some numbers. Many of the songs were hits for people who've had a strong influence on her, such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Ray Brown. Her rendition of “;I'll String Along With You”; was sung with much emotion as was “;You're My Thrill.”; She and the boys were jumping on “; 'Deed I Do.”; Other songs included “;Pick Yourself Up,”; a Latin influenced “;Where or When”; and the title song from her Latin album, “;Quiet Nights,”; to be released Tuesday. After closing Thursday she and the trio came back following a standing ovation and knocked out “; 'S Wonderful”; and a delicious “;Frim Fram Sauce,”; one of Cole's biggies, drawing another standing O. Believe me, there is nothing wrong with the girl's left hand ...

Jimmy Borges emceed Matt's tribute and he introduced a surprise singer, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who sang “;What a Wonderful World”; and brought along a proclamation for Matt. Sen. Will Espero also brought one from the state Senate. Will did not sing. Henry Kapono sang two of his hits, “;Sailing”; and “;Home in the Islands.”; He was followed by Amy Hanaialii who had two hula dancers and a guitarist performing on her third number. Jimmy sang “;I Have Dreamed,”; requested by Matt's wife Vicki, and “;Love for Sale”; before he and Matt teamed on a buddy-buddy version of “;Our Love Is Here to Stay”; ...