Reigning Jazz Diva
Dianne Reeves has been one of the top singers in jazz ever since the late ’80s. A logical successor to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae (although even she can not reach the impossible heights of Ella and Sarah Vaughan), Reeves is a superior interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer. She was a talented vocalist with an attractive voice even as a teenager when she sang and recorded with her high school band. She was encouraged by Clark Terry, who had her perform with him while she a college student at the University of Colorado.
There have been many times when Reeves has explored music beyond jazz. She did session work in Los Angeles starting in 1976, toured with Caldera, worked with Sergio Mendes in 1981, and toured with Harry Belafonte during 1983-1986. Reeves began recording as a leader in 1982 and became a regular at major jazz festivals. Her earlier recordings tended to be quite eclectic and many of her live performances have included original African-inspired folk music (which is often autobiographical), world music, and pop.
However, after signing with Blue Note in 1987, and particularly since 1994, Reeves has found her place in jazz, recording several classic albums along the way, most notably I Remember, The Grand Encounter, The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan, and A Little Moonlight. In 2005, she appeared onscreen singing ’50s standards in the George Clooney film Good Night, and Good Luck. When You Know was released in 2008. Reeves is at her best performing swinging jazz live. And her musical introduction of her band (which can be lengthy, witty, and full of inspired scatting) is sometimes nearly as memorable as the music. She is always capable of greatness. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi