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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Some Other Time

Heads Up HUCD 3138

1. Nice Work If You Can Get It
2. Beginner's Luck
3. They Say It's Wonderful
4. Some Other Time
5. Blue Skies
6. Without a Song
7. It's Magic
8. Taking a Chance on Love
9. The Good Life
10. If Someone Had Told Me
11. My Favorite Things
12. September in the Rain
13. Danny Boy

Diane Schuur - Vocals, piano (tracks 7, 9)
Randy Porter - Piano (tracks 1-6, 8, 10, 11, 13)
Dan Balmer - Guitar
Scott Steed - Bass
Reggie Jackson - Drums

After all the pretenders, here's the real thing: a lady who is a genuine jazz singer. I know she has sometimes been criticised (unfairly) for venturing into more popular realms but she has always been a jazz vocalist at heart, which she certainly proves here. The album commemorates the 40th anniversary of the death of Diane's mother, who died when the singer was only 13. The choice of songs celebrates the music that the young Diane heard her mother singing (it was her mother who gave Diane the nickname "Deedles") which has stayed with her ever since.

Because she has perfect pitch, Diane sings in tune and with deep, rich tone. She often holds onto notes for a long time, as if she is relishing them - while varying them slightly with her enthusiastic vibrato. And she also has a formidable range (three-and-a-half octaves), which allows her to play intriguing games with melodies, reaching unexpected highs and lows. Oh, and she's a fine pianist too, although regrettably she only plays piano on a couple of tracks on the CD. However, Randy Porter, the pianist for most of the session, accompanies her assiduously and plays some well-constructed solos. Randy also worked out most of the ingenious arrangements.

The repertoire may look hackneyed but Schuur brings something new to every number. For example, she starts Blue Skies at an unusually slow tempo and Dan Balmer takes a thoughtful guitar solo before Diane changes key twice without any trouble during the last chorus. My Favorite Things owes nothing to Julie Andrews or, for that matter, John Coltrane but it is all Schuur - for sure. In the little-known If Someone Had Told Me, Diane rivals Ella Fitzgerald in the level of cheeky improvisation. The biggest surprise is September in the Rain, recorded by Diane at a Holiday Inn in Tacoma when she was ten years old - a scratchy recording which is sufficiently audible for you to hear how much the early Diane was influenced by Dinah Washington. The CD ends with Diane singing Danny Boy just with guitar accompaniment. It was a song which her mother long ago asked her to sing and it makes a poignant end to the album.

Tony Augarde








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