Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
After a spotty series of attempts at merging jazz with pop, Dianne Reeves creates a beautifully organic synthesis between the two on Bridges, which has all the makings (panache, innovation, accessibility) of a commercial b... more »
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After a spotty series of attempts at merging jazz with pop, Dianne Reeves creates a beautifully organic synthesis between the two on Bridges, which has all the makings (panache, innovation, accessibility) of a commercial breakthrough. Reeves thrives during a quintet of folk-jazz narratives midway through the disk, from a vivid take on Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" (set off by Kenny Garrett's human-cry soprano sax) to a wordless "Olokun" by pianist-arranger Billy Childs. In between are the delicately unfolding ballad "Goodbye" (an gorgeous, instant pop classic), a shimmering remake of Milton Nascimento's "Bridges" (anchored by a Nascimento-like acoustic guitar), and perhaps the best version of Joni Mitchell's "River" ever made. The fluid interplay and petulant sentiment of the back-porch blues tune "Mista" later provides a delicious change of pace. A blocky take on Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" and Reeves's sappy lyrics on "Testify" (marring a spare and spunky African-gospel rhythmic groove) prove that Bridges isn't perfect. But with sidemen like Garrett, pianist Mulgrew Miller, and bassist Reginald Veal on board for quality control, these lapses amount to minor quibbles about a sterling outing. --Britt Robson
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"Bridges" finds Reeves at the top of her game
John Jones | Chicago IL | 09/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After more than a decade's worth of warm and organic jazz records that somehow seem perfect for an autumn day, how perfect that Dianne Reeves should appear on the cover of her latest record covered in leaves! And how wonderful that this far into her career she releases her most solid and satisfying work.Reeves has never been known especially for turning other people's songs inside out (a la Cassandra Wilson), but her brilliant reworking of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" gets things off to a beautiful start. The ballads "I Remember" and "Goodbye" are subtle and eloquent pop; certainly the sort of material that adult contemporary stations will play to death if they have the foresight to discover them. And her reading of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" is as haunting a performance as you are likely to hear.Dianne shakes things up a little in the second half of the disc; "Testify" layers both sung and spoken words simultaneously over an African- and jazz-inspired groove; the result is nothing short of hypnotic. Then there is "Mista," a simply perfect mixture of hip-hop, blues, and Bonnie Raitt-ish instrumentation. This song is a unique and rewarding venture for Reeves and hopefully it won't be her last.The only less-than-shining moment is Dianne's reading of Joni Mitchell's "River," which would sound a lot better if Holly Cole hadn't done a darker, more gorgeous version just a couple of years earlier. And while Dianne's album "Art and Survival" was a braver and riskier release, "Bridges" is an immaculately-produced, brilliantly-arranged, and gorgeously-sung outing. Any fan of her warm vocal style can't ask for much more."
Bev | Washington, DC | 12/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dianne has recorded several CDs that benchmark her growth as an artist. "I Remember" was such a benchmark. "Art and Surival" and "Quiet After The Storm" were too. But none of those stellar performances come close to her work on "Bridges."This CD is beautifully produced, capturing the magic that has given her a reputation as an exceptional live performer. "Bridges" projects such warmth and confidence that certain songs take my breath away. With "I Remember", "Good-bye", "Bridges", and "Testify" I feel like she's my closest friend singing poems that were written for me. I guess this CD just sounds like home to me. I am a longtime fan who has all of her CDs and has seen her in concert over a dozen times. Believe me, "Bridges" is Dianne's best work to date."
It's jazzy enough for me.
Mike Campbell | Troy, MI | 01/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dianne Reeves is, with little argument, one of the great jazz singers of our time. She often strays from pure jazz into more popular songs, much to the dismay of jazz critics. But, when she produces music like the performances on "Bridges", who cares. It's jazzy enough for me. With her voice and the musicians she employs, she could put the telephone directory to music and make it sound wonderful. If you like Dianne Reeves, this cd will not disappoint."