Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dianne Reeves honors women composers in Chicago Symphony Center Jazz


1-2. The many moods of Dianne Reeves

3. A teenaged Dianne Reeves with the great Joe Williams of Count Basie orchestra fame, with her uncle, bassist Charles Burrell and members of the Denver Symphony Orchestra

4. Dianne Reeves in the George Clooney produced and directed film “Good Night and Good Luck”

5. Dianne Reeves and her Grammy Award

Photo credits: Christian Lantry,, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, CBS Television

Guest Reviewer: Michael Handy

Chicago--Of all the contemporary jazz vocalists who claim to have been influenced by the late Sarah Vaughan, none wears her mantle more deservedly than Dianne Reeves. In a short, but powerful set in the Symphony Center Presents Jazz series at Chicago Symphony Center, she paid tribute, not only to the Divine One, but other women songwriters and performers who are both her forebears and contemporaries.

With her nimble quartet,consisting of Peter Martin, Musical Director & Piano, Romero Lubambo, Guitar,Reginald Veal, Bass and Terreon Gully, Drums, she wove a multifaceted musical tapestry out of songs that spanned musical genres and generations.

Her play list featured songs by influential female singer-songwriters, including Joan Armatrading, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell. While honoring each for their respective genius, she couched each song's performance in a musical nomenclature uniquely her own.

The Grammy-award-winning artist was born with a chromatic DNA lineage. Her father, who died when she was two years old, was also a singer. Her mother, Vada Swanson, played trumpet. A cousin, George Duke, is a well known piano and keyboard player and producer. As a child, Dianne took piano lessons and sang at every opportunity. Her uncle, Charles Burrell, a bass player with the

Denver Symphony Orchestra, introduced her to the vocal stylings of Sarah Vaughan. The rest, as they say, is music history.

Post-concert, Ms. Reeves stayed behind to greet fans and sign copies of her most recent CD, When You Know, a collection of love songs, on Blue Note.

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