It was the loss of a parent followed by the loss of a father and mother figure. I was not feeling like singing [one of her more upbeat songs]." Does she find it painful to listen to that album now? It's cathartic finishing them, then I don't want to hear them again.

There are some songs I never play live because if I'm not in the mood, I can't lie that I am.

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It sounds boring and nerdy but there was something about his phrasing that I loved." She was born listening to Bing in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Her father was an accountant and a keen amateur stride pianist.

Then I remember how tight her schedule is and that jet lag might partly account for her charmlessness. "You know, from the photographs." She refers to the album sleeves that made her the poster girl of the jazz world: Diana in tulle by moonlight, Diana barefoot and swathed in serape on the shore, Diana all sultry, blonde and puffy-lipped in a little black dress that shows off her long legs. Part of the snobbery, I suspect, might have arisen because she made her name recording popular standards.

So I smile and say: "You don't like being interviewed much, do you? She sighs: "I don't like talking about myself." Does talking about Diana Krall make Diana Krall feel self-conscious? It was not until her third album, a homage to the Nat King Cole Trio recorded in 1996, that she really hit her stride.

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She is sweet and innocent and actually the daughter of someone very important.

"I had to apologise for those record covers for a while. Not wanting her to lose momentum, I suggest the photographs complement the music. It's sexy." They complement her singing voice, too. "Yeah, the smoky voice, Scotch and cigarettes, all that crap." I'm beginning to feel some sympathy for her, having to endure such cliches - because the point about Krall's singing voice is it is not cliched.

But just because you have a pretty girl in a pretty dress it's not going to change people's minds about whether they like your music or not. That's petty stuff." Now this is more like it - something approaching passion, delivered in a torrent.

"You know," she says without looking up, "I never got bored reinterpreting jazz standards. One crushing handshake later, I reflect ruefully on the adage: never meet your heroes. It is only a bit of cross-hatching and a few loops but, hey, it is Krall's cross-hatching.