Following her Grammy-winning orchestral album The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves wished to return to a simpler, all-acoustic setting. So in December 2002, Reeves entered Right Track studios... more » in New York City with legendary producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones) to record A Little Moonlight, an intimate collection of ten tunes featuring her touring trio: pianist Peter Martin, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson. "Most of the songs are about the moment you're ready to fall in love, and the record features one of my loves, my trio-up-close and personal," says Reeves. "I've had great groups over the years, but there is really something special playing with Peter, Reuben and Greg. We've worked together for so long that sometimes all it takes is a look to make the music come alive-and this record captures the magic between us." Besides the inspired trio, the album also features appearances by trumpeter Nicholas Payton and guitarist Romero Lubambo.« less
Following her Grammy-winning orchestral album The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves wished to return to a simpler, all-acoustic setting. So in December 2002, Reeves entered Right Track studios in New York City with legendary producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones) to record A Little Moonlight, an intimate collection of ten tunes featuring her touring trio: pianist Peter Martin, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Greg Hutchinson. "Most of the songs are about the moment you're ready to fall in love, and the record features one of my loves, my trio-up-close and personal," says Reeves. "I've had great groups over the years, but there is really something special playing with Peter, Reuben and Greg. We've worked together for so long that sometimes all it takes is a look to make the music come alive-and this record captures the magic between us." Besides the inspired trio, the album also features appearances by trumpeter Nicholas Payton and guitarist Romero Lubambo.
Christopher P. Dunn | The Aloha State | 11/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dianne Reeves, in recent releases, has opted for more of a pop-oriented production than for her early hallmark jazzy style. Here, in "A Little Moonlight," Ms. Reeves returns, thankfully, to what she does best...jazz vocals. Even more rewarding is the fact that she is backed by a young, acoustic trio that is impeccable in its playing. Ms. Reeves mixes Rogers, Porter, and songs by other noted writers with non-standard fare. The result, thanks to the artistry of Reeves and her band, is a rewarding and varied set that includes a cocky rendition of "Loads of Love," a sentimental "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," to the every hopeful, "We'll Be Together Again."The surprise (and somewhat out of place) song here is "Lullaby of Broadway," which, if there is to be a "hit" from this set, will get most playing time. This is both good and bad. On the one hand, this is the most whistleable song here and is the most pop-oriented. It is easy, with this song, to sink in the sugary quicksands of sentimentality. Thankfully, Ms. Reeves keeps her balance and provides a fine slightly jazzy rendition, which benefits greatly from the guest appearance of guitarist Romero Lubambo. The remainder bears the mark of producer Arif Mardin... this is a good thing, in my opinion, as it provides a cohension and musicality that is engrossing. Ms. Reeves is presented here, not as a singer backed by a fine band, but as an instrument in her own right. A fine release."
bop reflections | Staunton, VA USA | 09/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The pop confections of Ms. Reeves previous releases are eclipsed by this ravishing set. "Let those with ears hear" fittingly describes her approach on this date. Upon repeated listening even the most musically obtuse will acquire a finer and more discerning taste for a beautiful song well performed. Listen to her take on Monk's "Reflections" and one hears a nearly sacramental wisdom drawn out of Jon Hendricks lyric. Or listen again to "You Go To My Head" and her sensitive reading will disclose a measure of erotic longing so cooly measured that by a strange alchemy yearning mutates to consummation. Nicholas Payton's brief turn savors each note with warm luxuriant savoir faire."We'll Be Together Again", with snapping but relaxed swing, creates a sense of musical performance transcendently attuned to the miracle of collective improvisation. The accompaniment of Reeves fellows is taut, electric and clean in the old sense of that word that one may remember from about 1955 in most northern urban areas. But on "Together Again" Ruben Rogers' bass is worth isolating for its supranatural rhythmic flare. Had I the time "I could write a book" about the songs to be sung in the sequel to this career making release.Here one may honestly say of Ms. Reeves that she has arrived to sit at that table only few singers may share. Holiday, Vaughan, Fitzgerald, Washington and Carter are Olympian. Their number cannot be swelled by pretense or tribute. In words so deliciously and artfully sung by Ms. Reeves, "thank God, she's a woman who knows.""
A Lil Moonlight Shines
michael johnson | Jacksonville, Florida | 07/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dianne Reeves has a gift for being able to take a tune and make her own without being overbearing or understated. Of course that's difference between a good singer and a great one. In my opinion, Miss Reeves is the latter. Having said that, I am mesmerized by the freshness she brings to this collection of songs. Reeves really sells the lyrics here without showing off or giving in to vocal acrobatics. From her spirited rendition of loads of love to her hauntingly beautiful cry on We'll Be Together Again Miss Reeves simply shines. If this years grammy voters put talent before commericial clout, Reeves should have a shining moment at the grammys."
Dianne Reeves Singing With Grace, Elegance And Sophisticatio
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 01/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Dianne Reeves' superbly focused and articulate phrasing shine in this attractive new outing." ~ Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times ~
Dianne Reeves is an impressive jazz vocalist who has left an indelible mark in my own book of "Who's Who In Jazz." I have tremendously enjoyed all her recordings from my collection including this lovely CD, "A Little Moonlight" released in 2003 by Blue Note Records, a distinguished record company catering to the big names in jazz. Likewise, this album won the 2004 Grammy for "Best Jazz Vocal Album," a well-deserved recognition for Ms. Reeves, whose artistry is always appreciated by jazz enthusiasts.
This CD reveals a set of ten timeless standards from the creative pens of the greatest songwriters and lyricists of all-time. To begin with, there's a classic from Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael, "Skylark" done in an exquisitely moving rendition that showcases the artist's dramatic vocal range.
A talented guitarist, Romero Lubambo, shares the spotlight with Ms. Reeves as they present a lovely interpretation of "Darn That Dream," a song I consider an emotional highlight from this collection. The beautiful tone of his guitar complements the singer's flawless phrasing, not overpowering but in perfect harmony, and he shines on the solo part. "Lullaby of Broadway" is also rendered in simplistic beauty with just a guitar accompaniment by Mr. Lubambo for the most part. She sounds more like a folk-singer in the sixties than a jazz diva. If you are impressed with his guitar playing, please check out Jane Monheit's version of "Embraceable You" from her bestselling CD, Taking a Chance on Love.
What good is a set of standards without a Cole Porter classic? Ms. Reeves gives a dazzling reading of "I Concentrate On You" with its warm and cozy Bossa Nova rhythm. She sings "You Go To My Head" in easy and relaxed manner with heartfelt emotion that she also evokes in "We'll Be Together Again." She is in her most exuberant self as she gives an enlivening treatment of "What A Little Moonlight Can Do," which boasts of her flair for scatting.
The creativity and best efforts of Peter Martin (piano), Gregory Hutchinson (drums), Ruben Rogers (bass), Nicholas Peyton (trumpet) and Romero Lubambo (guitar) magnified the charms of these interpretations -- all are bound to delight the listeners with great taste in jazz vocal genre, even the most discriminating ears will find this CD a sheer beauty!
A CD to enjoy for all seasons!
With my heartfelt recommendation. "
New to her music
Thomas Reynolds | Potomac, MD United States | 03/31/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lullaby of Broadway may be the most surprising and beautiful interpretation of a song I have ever heard. I found myself listening and understanding it for the first time as poignant. Her emotional interpretation added intellectual understanding, a real attribute for a musician. Her voice is beautiful, but still real. The whole album is satisfying and a good buy for anyone who appreciates new insights into music."