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Higher Standards: Dianne Reeves sings without borders

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Friday February 24, 2017

From Calgary Herald

Higher Standards: Genre-blurring Grammy winner Dianne Reeves sings without borders
By: Eric Volmers

It takes a special singer to find the common ground between Ani DiFranco’s 32 Flavors and the 1933 American Songbook classic Stormy Weather.

But that was among the impressive feats jazz singer Dianne Reeves achieved with Beautiful Life, her 2014 studio album that also found her covering Fleetwood Mac (Dreams), Bob Marley (Waiting in Vain) and Esperanza Spalding (Wild Rose). The fact that Reeves, whose vocal agility has earned comparisons to Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald, would take on numbers from the American Songbook is hardly surprising. But she has also showcased a musically adventurous spirit, blurring lines between pop, jazz and R & B over a 35-year recording career and winning five Grammy Awards along the way. DiFranco, Marley, Stevie Nicks — their work all benefits from Reeves’ rich and expressive voice.

“A lot of the songs are songs that younger artists were referencing,” says the singer, on the phone from a tour stop in Davis, California. “I thought, ‘Wow, this would be a good place to come together’ because this is the music I grew up with.”

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