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Quiet After The Storm (1995)

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Everette Harp

Dianne Reeves, who has always had a beautiful voice and the potential for greatness in jazz, has conducted a rather directionless career, performing many concerts filled with spontaneity while at the same time recording erratic albums that usually feature both veteran jazz ballads and newer material that is closer to pop and folk music. There are some strong jazz moments on this CD. "Comes Love" has an inventive arrangement that uses a riff from the Miles Davis version of "'Round Midnight" and a familiar rhythmic phrase from "Star Eyes" in surprising ways. "Detour Ahead" is fine and "The Benediction" ("Country Preacher" with Reeves's lyrics) is a sincere tribute to Cannonball Adderley (who makes a brief appearance on soprano via sampling) but on some of the other pieces Reeves wanders far away from jazz. She sings a couple of folk songs with guitarist Dori Caymmi, introduces the heartwarming if poppish original "Nine" and performs a very straight version of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" that makes the song sound like a Broadway show tune. Perhaps Dianne Reeves's eventual niche will be as a jazz-influenced folk-pop singer; someday she should probably make up her mind. ~ Scott Yanow