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The Gentle Rain

Irene Kral

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Album Review

Hearing this set of cool, restrained ballads, it is difficult to believe that this was singer Irene Kral's final recording and that she only had a year left to live before her death from breast cancer. Throughout her second set of duets with pianist Alan Broadbent, Kral is almost up to the same emotional level as the previous Where Is Love. Broadbent takes "What's New" as a complex and introspective exploration. Otherwise, Kral and Broadbent interact on five ballads, including two by Dave Frishberg and memorable renditions of "The Gentle Rain," "Something to Live For" and "If You Could See Me Now," plus a four-song "Antique Medley." Few other singers could interpret a full program of slow ballads and hold one's interest throughout. Unfortunately, this valuable LP has not yet been reissued on CD.

Biography

Born: 18 January 1932 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

A superb ballad singer who always put both plenty of emotion and subtlety into her often haunting interpretations, Irene Kral stood near the top of her field during her shortened life. The younger sister of singer/pianist Roy Kral (of Jackie & Roy), she debuted as a singer with the Jay Burkhardt Big Band. Freelancing in Chicago (including with a vocal group called the Tattle-Tales), Kral spent nine months singing with Maynard Ferguson's big band in 1957. Next up was an association with Herb Pomeroy's...
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The Gentle Rain, Irene Kral
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