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A Little Moonlight by Dianne Reeves

A Little Moonlight is a modestly remarkable collection of ten standards interpreted and in some cases reinvigorated by Dianne Reeves & five other outstanding musicians. Taking songs that have been recorded many times over by countless singers--some so definitively that it is difficult to read the title and not hear a Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday pronouncing the words--Reeves & Co. never fail to bring out something new in them. Her backing trio of Peter Martin at the piano, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson are steady throughout, while the guest appearances from trumpeter Nicholas Payton and especially guitarist and arranger Romero Lubambo take the disc to the next level.

Reeves is the star of the show with her strong and expressive voice. Her preeminence is underscored rather than challenged by her colleagues; Payton's bluesy lines on "You Go To My Head" reinforce Reeves' delivery of the lyric in a manner recalling the interplay between Shirley Horn & Miles Davis on "You Won't Forget Me." Especially impressive are the three songs featuring Lubambo. His brief guitar fantasy introducing "Darn That Dream" breathes new life into the old warhorse, and he contributes some nice bossa nova chording on Cole Porter's "I Concentrate On You." His playing also illuminates a wonderful mid-tempo version of "Lullaby of Broadway," the arrangement and Reeves' vocals on the bridge sounding something like what Joni Mitchell might do with the tune. Billy Childs also provides an arrangement on "I'm All Smiles." Amidst this star power, it should not be lost that Reeves has a very talented pianist and arranger in Peter Martin and that he excels in both chairs on the balance of the album.

A Little Moonlight is a collection that should appeal to listeners across the lines of age and experience with jazz. That Dianne Reeves is applying her extraordinary talent to a set of classics should please the purists out there, while young fans hearing songs like "Skylark" for the first time will find themselves well met. This CD is worthy of the success it has found in the charts.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dianne Reeves
  • CD Title: A Little Moonlight
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Blue Note
  • Tracks: Loads of Love, I Concentrate on You, Reflections, Skylark, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Darn That Dream, I’m All Smiles, Lullaby of Broadway, You Go to My Head, We’ll Be Together Again
  • Musicians: Dianne Reeves (vocals); Peter Martin (piano); Reuben Rogers (bass); Gregory Hutchinson (drums) Guests: Romero Lubambo (guitar); Nicholas Payton (trumpet)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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