Friday January 31, 2014
From Something Else
Dianne Reeves – Beautiful Life (2014)
By: Esther Berlanga-Ryan
Five years sounds like an awful long time to wait for Dianne Reeves’ new album. One of the most recognizable female jazz voices today, this woman carries the meaning of truth in her voice as if it is no big deal.
Unlike other marvelous voices such as Dee Dee Bridgewater — who boldly smiles at the entire humanity, owning her fearless talent and never holding back (I love that about Dee Dee) — Reeves’ quiet approach to her beautiful gifts leaves the listener that much more enchanted, and forever in love with a phrasing and a tone that could only happen in the voice of a lovely human being. An album of Dianne Reeves means a moment of peace for the soul. You play it, and she instantly makes you believe in the endless possibilities of this life we are living.
Beautiful Life is Reeves’ Concord Records debut, with drummer Terri Lyne Carrington (she might be becoming to female musicians what George Cukor was to actresses: the one that understands them best) as the producer of all this magic. Pop, R&B and Latin music wrapped up in her most sophisticated jazz as she understands it and feels it today. The list of collaborators is long and astonishing: the voices of Lalah Hathaway and Gregory Porter; pianists Gerald Clayton, Robert Glasper and her cousin, the late George Duke; and bass players Richard Bona and Esperanza Spalding.
Absolutely nothing could go wrong, and nothing did.
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