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True love has been a timeless topic for poets, storytellers and minstrels since the world began. From a young lover's innocent stares and awkward movements to the more compassionate phases that follow, Dianne Reeves turns her attention to the awareness that grabs hold when love takes over. What better way for an emotional singer to reach out heart to heart? The guitars of Romero Lubambo and Russell Malone play an important role in this lover's portrait, as do key players who have always been there to help Reeves have her say. Each familiar selection portrays a benchmark from an affair of the heart.
Reeves starts off with "Just My Imagination," whose lyrics open a door of hope and dreams. Songs of loving follow, gaining momentum through their well-known melodies and personal significance. Reeves owns each song in a way few contemporary jazz singers can. Her extensive vocal range comes into focus often, allowing songs to rise and fall naturally. "Windmills of Your Mind," for example, is driven forcefully with questions that haunt the soul. In a dramatic arrangement, soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson cameos with strings in swirls of anxiety that both pique and annoy, all part of the human love experience. A large children's choir joins Reeves for a stirring reading of "When You Know," while "Social Call" features cheerful and swinging vocalese.
Reeves closes the album with an original blues that expresses the fulfillment that comes from loving with all your heart for many years. This song, "Today Will Be a Good Day," finds the singer at a point where everyone wishes to be.
Track Listing: Just My Imagination; Over the Weekend; Lovin
Personnel: Dianne Reeves: vocals, vocalese (8); Steve Wilson: soprano saxophone (7); Romero Lubambo: acoustic guitar (1-9); Russell Malone: electric guitar (1-5, 8, 10); Billy Childs: Rhodes electric piano (1), piano (7, 9); George Duke: piano (2); Geoffrey Keezer: piano (5, 6), Rhodes electric piano (5); Dave Carpenter: acoustic bass (3); Reuben Rogers: electric bass (2, 5), acoustic bass (6, 8); Reginald Veal: acoustic bass (1), baby bass (7, 9), upright bass (10), tambourine (10), washboard (10); Greg Hutchinson: drums (5, 6, 8, 10); Antonio Sanchez: drums (1, 3, 7, 9); Oscar Seaton: drums (2); Lenny Castro: percussion (1, 3, 5, 6); Karen Briggs, Sarah Thornblade: violin (2, 7); Matthew Funes, Alma Fernandez: viola (2, 7); Giovanni Clayton: cello (2, 7); Susan Wulff: double bass (2, 7); children
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!