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Dianne Reeves: The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan

Dianne Reeves continues to grapple with a challenge facing all contemporary jazz singers, namely what to sing. She obviously enjoys drawing from a broad range of material; previous albums present songs by Cole Porter and Jule Styne alongside those of Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell. But despite her enthusiasm and masterful performance skills, those choices often appear disjointed rather than the result of a logically evolved aesthetic.

The same holds true for Reeves’ latest release, The Calling, a tribute to Sarah Vaughan with orchestra, only this time the arrangements lack continuity rather than the repertory itself. With the exception of “If You Could See Me Now,” a gorgeous tapestry blending strings with colorful woodwinds, Billy Childs’ orchestrations vary unpredictably from tune to tune and moment to moment.

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