There is no doubt in my mind that Diane Schuur possesses one of the finest voices on the scene today. However, I also feel that her talents belong more in the "pop" category than in jazz. This issue is a nice compilation of Diane's performances with various stars from both pop and jazz fields.
I was pleased to see a few arrangements by the New Zealand born Alan Broadbent, one of my favorite pianists. Diane kicks things off with a very nice Randy Waldman arrangement of "Easy Living" featuring a digitally reintroduced solo by the late Stan Getz and Broadbent's fine piano. Ten other tunes follow including "I'd Fly" with vocalist Richard Cocciante, "It Might Be You" with Alan Bergman, "Love Like Ours" featuring Dave Grusin, "Red Cab to Manhattan" with vocalist Stephen Bishop and "Finally" with guest vocalist Stevie Wonder.
In my humble opinion, the highlight of this compilation is "It Had To Be You" with Ray Charles on synthesizer and vocal. This was a pairing made in heaven and the interaction between Schuur and Charles is completely engaging and humorous. Jazz is all about interchange between performers and, on several other tracks, I found this element sadly missing.
The singer's efforts with Stevie Wonder was equally inspiring and a wonderful pairing of talents. This Concord issue is a must for Diane's many fans.