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Dianne Reeves On Piano Jazz

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Monday May 16, 2011

From NPR Music

Dianne Reeves On Piano Jazz
By Grant Jackson

This Piano Jazz episode from 1999 features one of today’s preeminent jazz singers. Dianne Reeves brings her rhythmic virtuosity to a sparkling set of standards, including duets with host Marian McPartland on “Close Enough for Love” and “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise.”

Reeves was born in Detroit to a family full of musicians — her father was a singer, her mother played trumpet, an uncle played bass for the Colorado Symphony and her cousin is pianist, composer and arranger George Duke. She began studying piano at an early age and recalls singing ever since she can remember. Jazz music, particularly the work of Sarah Vaughan, resonates in Reeves’ childhood musical memories.

At 16, Reeves began singing with her local high-school jazz band. The group won a competition that eventually led to a feature performance at the National Association of Jazz Educators. It was there that trumpeter Clark Terry first noticed Reeves’ abilities and took her under his wing, encouraging her to pursue a career as a singer. She was invited on several occasions to sit in with Terry’s All-Star group, which gave her the opportunity to sing with jazz legends such as Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Rowles and Louis Bellson.

Listen to the program here