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Dianne Reeves: A Little Moonlight

Jim Santella By

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A little moonlight can work wonders on your spirits. Aside from the obvious romantic overtones, the presence of the moon looking down on you night after night works as an old friend who’s never too far away to say hello. Again and again. It’s the same moon that conversed with our earliest ancestors all across the globe. No wonder the Great American Songbook contains so many moon songs. That familiar white orb reminds us that the day is done, and that tomorrow holds new adventures.

With her longtime allies Peter Martin, Ruben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson in support, Dianne Reeves scat sings and interprets lyrics for a collection of romantic inspirations. Hers isn’t a deeply rooted, “I can’t live without you” kind of romantic desperation. Reeves delivers each familiar melody with a coolness of spirit that seems to say, “Hold me tight . . . because ours is a lasting relationship, we deserve each other, we’re both happy with this, so why not keep things on an even keel?” It’s a mature approach – both to the music and to the message being cast through her acoustic mainstream album.

Their calypso arrangement of “Lullabye of Broadway” belies the ensemble’s master plan for this romantic session. With a twinkle in her eye and a coy grin on her face, Reeves seduces the listener with her no-nonsense, plain talk. The facts speak for themselves. Whether addressing her interpretations toward innocent children, close family members, or to spousal interests, the singer finds that her mature approach convinces everyone. Each heartfelt ballad and swinging romp in the park gives this veteran singer a new opportunity for creative expression. With just the right amount of emotional zeal, Reeves wins again this year. A Little Moonlight shuns all the usual marketing tools and climbs to the top of the year’s ten best list through her honest, down to earth communication.


Track Listing: Loads of Love; I Concentrate On You; Reflections; Skylark; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Darn That Dream; I

Personnel: Dianne Reeves- vocals; Peter Martin- piano; Ruben Rogers- bass; Gregory Hutchinson- drums; Romero Lubambo- guitar; Nicholas Payton- trumpet on

Title: A Little Moonlight | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

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