Diane Schuur

| December 5, 2017 | 0 Comments

Diane Schuur

Birdland, NYC, November 14, 2017

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Diane Schuur

Diane Schuur is in the very top tier of today’s jazz vocalists. Backed by a trio of great musicians — Willie Jones III (drums), Roger Hines (bass), the marvelous Joel Frahm (saxophone) — and her own truly dazzling work on piano, her week at Birdland was a jazz aficionado’s delight. She is more than just a great jazz artist; her ingratiating manner, off-the-cuff remarks, and her infectious big smile, make her a great entertainer. When she is not scat singing or humming in synch with Frahm’s saxophone, her enunciation is perfect. There is a touch of playful humor in all of her numbers, and each is uniquely a Dianne Schurr interpretation. She has the confidence on stage to give each member of the band frequent solo opportunities.

Schuur opened with a humorous special material number, telling the crowd that this is her 27th year as a performer and her third appearance at Birdland. “‘S Wonderful” featured the first of many of Frahm’s solos and showed off Schuur’s ability to scat. It was followed by a nice ’n’ easy version of “Nice ‘n’ Easy,” quite different from Sinatra’s classic recording. A very slow “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” featured a soft piano solo and her careful enunciation of each word in the lyric. Miles Davis’ “Solar” featured a solo by Frahm on clarinet and segued into a super-fast performance of Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” which had a very big finish that slowly faded away. She showed off her wide vocal range with “Danger Zone” (Percy Mayfield). The audience reaction after she finished her closing number “Louisiana Sunday Afternoon” explained why it is her most downloaded song.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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