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When You Know by Dianne Reeves

Vocalist Dianne Reeves, four-time Grammy winner, has an impressive CD release coming in April, When You know, her first album of new material in five years. As well, this is her first recording since the award-winning soundtrack to the 2005 film Good Night, And Good Luck.

On the new disc, best-supporting awards are in order for guitar players Russell Malone, on amplified, and Romero Lubambo, on acoustic. They are on on several tracks; just the duo backing Reeves. Last year, she toured with the two on a 25-date European swing. This gave them time to hone their tight, tasteful collaborations.

Regarding the album’s concept, Reeves explains in liner notes that her goal was to record a collection of songs celebrating the different phases of love in a woman's life, going from naivete to knowledge.

Fresh young love is the subject of two songs early on. The Temptations’ "Just My Imagination," is given a scintillating arrangement propelled by the interplay of guitars-Malone’s delicate touch enhanced by Lubambo's soft rhythmic strumming. Following this, Reeves’ unique treatment of the Molly Ripperton-favorite "Lovin’ You," displays her bel canto style which suggests the bubbly, giddy feeling of attraction to another.

An example of the mature lover’s wariness is heard in Reeve’s wise version of Cy Coleman's "I'm In Love Again." She is ready to take the plunge once more but not too fast. It also features a delicious Malone solo.

On Billy Child’s tempestuous orchestral arrangement of the Bergman-Legrand "Windmills of Your Mind," Reeves’ vividly brings out the turmoil romance can cause. Childs on piano and Steve Wilson, on soprano sax, take solid solos as the piece builds to a climax.

On John Hendricks’ swinging "Social Call," Reeves gets a chance to show her sharp jazz chops. To conclude, she really gets into her blues groove with "Today Will Be A Good Day," helped mightily by Malone’s down-home, gritty guitar. Greg Hutchinson's heavy beat on drums brings it home but not before Reginald Veal joyfully brings in his tambourine, washboard-everything but the kitchen sink.

If there was ever any doubt, this shows that Reeves still rules as one of the premier jazz divas. Her creative concept and stellar execution reigns here.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dianne Reeves
  • CD Title: When You Know
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Blue Note Advance Music
  • Rating: Four Stars
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