Krall began playing piano at the age of 4. By the age of 15, she was playing jazz piano in a local restaurant. She attributes most of her music education to her father, who was both a piano player and record collector. She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a scholarship, before heading out to Los Angeles, Toronto, and finally New York, in 1990, to play jazz
Her first album was Stepping Out in 1993. She took part in a trio, which included John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums, but it was Krall who received most of the attention and praise from fans and critics alike. It was an impressive debut and caught the attention of Tommy LiPuma, who produced her second album, Only Trust Your Heart (1995).
Her third album, a tribute to Nat King Cole, earned her a Grammy nomination and lasted 70 weeks in the Billboard jazz charts. Impressive as that was, Krall had much room for improvement. Krall truly rose to fame with the release of her 1999 album When I Look Into Your Eyes, which won two Grammys: Best Jazz Vocal Performance and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical). It also earned a nomination for Best Album of the Year, the first jazz album nominated in two and a half decades. In 2001, she began a world tour, becoming an international best-seller.
Krall continues to delight fans year after year with new album releases. She never disappoints. I saw a Chris Botti/Krall concert in 2007; the two of them were flawless, what a great match! Her most recent work is the 2010 Quiet Nights, a collection of ballads and bossa novas; it uses Brazil as a “musical point of reference.” It reached No. 1 on the Billboard jazz chart, her 9th album to do so. Overall, it generated positive reviews and won the arranger, Claus Ogerman, a Grammy.
If you’re looking for some soothing, jazzy Christmas tunes, the 2005 Christmas Songs is a short album (12 tracks in under 40 minutes) that fits the bill. It is Krall’s 9th album, but her first studio album with a big band, which was ranked number 14 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums of the Decade. Any day is a great day to break out some Krall, but come Christmastime, I can’t get enough.