Dianne Reeves praises Becca Stevens and Terri Lyne Carrington

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Thursday November 13, 2014

From The Durham-Herald Sun

Staying open and true: Dianne Reeves to perform
By: Cliff Bellamy

…After 18 recordings, Reeves has a repertoire that includes jazz standards, originals and arrangements of songs not usually considered standards. On ‘Beautiful Life,’ her latest record released earlier this year, she puts her stamp on tunes like Bob Marley’s ‘Waiting in Vain’ and ‘Dreams,’ the song Fleetwood Mac made a hit. There’s also the standard ‘Stormy Weather,’ and new songs like ‘Cold’ and ‘Satiated.’ She called ‘Beautiful Life’ ‘a really wonderful, collaborative effort.’ Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington was the producer and served as a ‘bridge’ between jazz and other styles, Reeves said. Among the artists who contributed to this recording were bass player Esperanza Spalding, vocalist Gregory Porter and pianist Robert Glasper.

She and Carrington did the arrangements for the recording, along with other musicians. As an arranger, she sometimes brings an idea to a rehearsal and will give the musicians a sketch ‘because I want them in it.’ She mentions the way Duke Ellington would write parts for specific members of his band. ‘It was all predicated on their personality, and you give them certain ideas and they know exactly what to do with them.’

Asked which artists sound interesting to her, Reeves said, ‘There are a lot, and they’re not just in jazz music.’ She mentions pianist Kris Bowers, who plays a prepared piano. ‘At the same time, he writes scores for films but he comes out of hip-hop and church.’ Vocalist Porter ‘reminds me of the soul singers I grew up listening to.’ She mentions Becca Stevens and ‘all these great young singers. They’re just doing magnificent things. It’s exciting.’ Every day, she receives music by another artist. ‘I’m inspired hearing these new voices.’

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