Diane Schuur is, in my opinion and many others', one of the premiere vocalists of this era. But I've been disappointed with her last couple solo releases, forgettable collections of sappy love songs. Thankfully, with Blues For Schuur
, Deedles has some material she can really sink her teeth into, and the result is one of her best albums in years!
The program, as the title suggests, is all blues; gut-wrenching, soul-searching, emotion-dripping blues. Schuur milks every stylistic nuance for all it's worth and backs it up with her full, powerful voice. You can tell she's really getting into it.
Of course, great arrangements help a lot. The credit here goes to former Tower of Power horn arranger Greg Adams. Adams wrote the complete arrangements, not just the horns. And the all-pro seven-piece horn section (two trumpets, two trombones, three saxophones) gives the music all the punch it needs. The sweetly stinging guitar solos of David T. Walker fit the mood just right, too.
Diane Schuur's collaboration album with B.B. King gave us a good indication of her ability to sing the blues. This album provides all the proof you need.