It's a match made in musical heaven: Dianne Reeves, the cool and collected contralto, and Arif Mardin, the esteemed producer behind the success of Chaka Khan
, Aretha Franklin
, and Norah Jones
. Backed by a young and hungry rhythm section featuring drummer Greg Hutchinson, bassist Reuben Rogers, and pianist Peter Martin, Reeves finds herself in a straight-ahead setting where she can show off her jazz chops without compromising to pop-oriented concepts and expectations. The result is a recording of unadulterated and honest jazz in the classic sense. Her skillful blending of the best of Sarah Vaughan
and Betty Carter
is evident on Richard Rodger's "Loads of Love." The Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo adds Joe Pass
strains to Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You," while trumpeter Nichlolas Payton
lend his mellow tones to Reeve's heartfelt rendition of "You Go to My Head." --Eugene Holley, Jr.