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Dianne Reeves: NEA Jazz Master

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Thursday April 12, 2018

From WBGO

NEA Jazz Masters—Dianne Reeves, Joanne Brackeen, Pat Metheny, Todd Barkan—Take Over Take Five
By: Nate Chinen

The 2018 class of NEA Jazz Masters — pianist Joanne Brackeen, promoter Todd Barkan, singer Dianne Reeves and guitarist Pat Metheny — will be inducted in an all-star tribute concert at the Kennedy Center next Monday, April 16. Check back here for a free live stream of the event, which will feature performances by Angelique Kidjo, Eddie Palmieri, Cécile McLorin Salvant and many others. For now, we dedicate this installment of Take Five to the four honorees.

Dianne Reeves, “Summertime”

Absolute authority — that’s probably the best way to describe the artistry of Dianne Reeves, easily one of the finest jazz singers of our time. Last year, Reeves was riveting at the NEA Jazz Masters ceremony, honoring her dear friend Dee Dee Bridgewater. There are countless good options for a recent offering from Reeves, but I wanted to take this opportunity to spotlight a gem from the archives: her set-closing, boundary-stretching version of “Summertime,” from the 1989 Newport Jazz Festival. Settle in and absorb the full glory of this performance, which begins with an ad lib about her tour schedule, and gets stronger and more uplifting as it goes. (Dig that brief hailstorm of a drum solo by the young Billy Kilson.)

Read about the rest of the honorees here