Thursday June 12, 2014
Dianne Reeves, jazz singer with a heavy dose of soul
By: Jesse Hamlin
Dianne Reeves, the sumptuous-voiced jazz singer who’s as likely to do a Temptations tune as a Cole Porter classic, always liked Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams, “ one of the modern standards on “Beautiful Life,” her first album in five years. But she never figured she’d sing it.
“I always liked it, but not for me,” Reeves says. She changed her mind after hearing the arrangement pianist Robert Glasper wrote, with its gospel feel and loping backbeats, with her fluid voice and improvisational finesse in mind. He’s one of the creative young jazz musicians on this soul-style pop record, produced by drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington.
“Wow, it took on a whole different meaning,” says Reeves, 56, a four-time Grammy winner who sounds focused and relaxed these days, on stage and off. She’ll sing some of the songs from “Beautiful Life” – the repertoire ranges from Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” to the Marvin Gaye hit “I Want You” to a floating meditation on “Stormy Weather” – when she returns to the SFJazz Center Sunday night to play a sold-out show at the San Francisco Jazz Festival.
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