REVIEW: Dianne Reeves Dazzles at Ronnie's

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Monday November 12, 2012

from JazzWise Magazine

Dianne Reeves Dazzles at Ronnie’s
By Jack Massarik

To observe the wonderful Dianne Reeves going about her business at Ronnie Scott’s recently was a powerful reminder that real jazz singers don’t repeat themselves and create their best work in the moment. Blessed with a rich contralto of Sarah Vaughan-like proportions, Dianne is all music. She doesn’t speak to audiences, she sings to them ‘” just as the great Ray Charles used to do, swinging all the while. “How y’all doing tonight? I’m fine too, and so glad to be with you,” was her opening message as a top-class quartet ‘” Dianne never works with average players ‘” eased into a supple groove beneath her.

Ten minutes previously they had opened her set with a bossa-nova instrumental featuring jaw-dropping solos from pianist Peter Martin, bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Terreon Gully and Brazilian ace Romero Lubambo, a master of dazzling finger-style jazz on the nylon-string guitar. Highlights of the set were ‘Solitude’, a bossa classic whose changes inspired several rich choruses of impassioned vocal improvisation from Dianne, and ‘In Your Eyes’, a George Benson hit subtly reharmonised for her by pianist Billy Childs.

All good stuff, as you would expect from an artist always more satisfying live than on record. Dianne has had the jazz diva field more or less to herself for some while now, but her standards remain formidably high.

Read the full article here