Tuesday January 14, 2014
From The Denver Post
Dianne Reeves, Denver Jazz Star, Offers Tasteful “Beautiful Life”
By: Bret Saunders
Denver’s four-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist, Dianne Reeves, hasn’t released a collection of new recordings in five years. It’s clear, however, that she’s invested a good deal of time and effort in her new CD, “Beautiful Life.” It’s due on Feb. 11, on the Concord label, after a long association with Blue Note.
“Beautiful Life” is meticulously produced by Terri Lyne Carrington, who applies tasteful layers of horns, synths and electronic percussion under Reeves’ voice, which remains perhaps the most emotionally direct in all of mainstream jazz. And if Carrington and Reeves are aiming for a larger-than- standard jazz-sized audience, who can blame them? Even if you’ve heard several of these songs, associated with Fleetwood Mac (“Dreams”) Bob Marley (“Waiting In Vain”) and Marvin Gaye (“I Want You”) hundreds of times, Reeves adds her own vocal gravitas to them. They’re not covers as much as reimaginings emanating from the perspective of a fine interpretive singer.
The CD includes a number of high-profile guests, like vocalist Gregory Porter and bassist Esperanza Spalding, but the most bittersweet contributions come from Reeves’ cousin, keyboardist George Duke, who died in August of last year. His fingerprints remain on a handful of tracks here, and they are most likely the final collaborations between the two.
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