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Jazz's Diana Krall plays Mann, Borgata

Traveling to twin shows - with twins

Ah, the glamorous life of the touring jazz musician.

Diana Krall is trying to do a phone interview from a Connecticut hotel room. Dexter and Frank, her 2-year-old twins with husband Elvis Costello, are clamoring for attention. And the singer has a debilitating flu that makes her distinctive voice sound more froggy than sultry.

She's also scheduled to perform in a couple of hours.

"You don't want to tell the audience. They freak out. Then you have to assure them, 'No, it's not that kind of flu,' " she says. "I haven't canceled anything yet, even though it was recommended I do."

She promises to be fully recovered by tonight when she and her trio play the Mann. Tomorrow they move on to the Borgata.

An inventive interpreter of standards and a remarkable pianist, the Grammy-winning Krall is the most celebrated crossover artist in modern jazz. Those stunning Veronica Lake looks probably don't hurt her popularity either.

Don't go expecting her to re-create her new album, the Brazilian-flavored Quiet Nights. "I don't have the philosophy at this point in my life that I'm touring for an album," she says. "I'm playing some new tunes, some Nat King Cole, and some I haven't recorded before."

Then a 2-year-old is tugging at her sleeve.

"Would you like the paint open? Ohhhh, you've got watercolors. There you go, Dexter."

Touring with twin tots is a formidable challenge. "You have to babyproof a [hotel] room in 10 minutes," she says. "There's always that ornamental bowl of potpourri that you're like, 'Oh my God.'

"Or all of a sudden your kid is stuck in this very modern lamp."

Krall, 44, teams up with her husband whenever possible, but Costello is off promoting his own album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. While she's in Philadelphia, he's halfway across the country, playing at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Krall begins to talk about recording Quiet Nights when her attention shifts again without warning. "What do you have in your mouth, honey?" she asks.

Not to worry, ticket holders. When Krall is onstage, there are no distractions.