Monday December 07, 2015
From Wisconsin Gazette
Dianne Reeves Swings Holiday Favorites in Concert
By: Michael Muckian
As a child, jazz singer Dianne Reeves always loved the music of Christmas. If she had a favorite, it might have been Nat “King” Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song,” the seasonal ode to “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” penned by Mel Torme.
“They were both jazz artists,” remembers Reeves. “I love all the Christmas songs, but I especially loved hearing that one.”
Fans of both jazz and Christmas can get an earful of Reeves’ holiday favorites twice this month when the Grammy Award-winning artist celebrates the season in Wisconsin. Reeves and her quartet will perform a stockingfull of holiday and jazz favorites Dec. 11 at UW-Madison’s Wisconsin Union Theater and again on Dec. 12 at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield.
Reeves will perform both engagements with her quartet of “co-creators,” as she calls them, featuring pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Terreon Gully.
Both shows will draw heavily on her 2004 CD Christmas Time is Here, whose titular tune, familiar to fans of the 1965 animated program A Charlie Brown Christmas, was written by pianist Vince Guaraldi, another jazz artist. The frequent intersection of jazz and holiday music does not at all surprise the 59-year-old singer.
“Jazz musicians have always taken Christmas standards and given them a jazz sensibility,” Reeves says. “I love that you can swing a Christmas carol.”
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