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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | GRP

Diane Schuur is in prime voice throughout this swinging date. Backed by an 11-piece group arranged by Greg Adams, Schuur emphasizes the blues feeling on a variety of mostly older but fresh material, including "Stormy Monday," "Save Your Love for Me," "When Did You Leave Heaven" and four Charles Brown songs. There are occasional solos from the backup crew (most notably guitarist David T. Walker and an uncredited altoist on "Save Your Love for Me" that might be Gary Herbig), but the emphasis is on Schuur's voice. An infectious outing from the talented singer. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 26, 1999 | Atlantic Records

While most jazz singers probably do not improvise enough, in the case of Diane Schuur, the less she gets away from the melody the better. The reason is obvious: Schuur has a beautiful voice but she rarely seems to know what to do with it! Her improvising can be screechy and erratic. Fortunately, Schuur mostly sticks to the themes on this strong release. Utilizing a variety of top jazz musicians, including pianist Alan Broadbent (Schuur plays piano herself on two songs) and tenor saxophonist Nino Tempo (who always emulates Stan Getz), Schuur mostly uplifts standards on her colorful outing. She goes a bit over the top with her singing on "Invitation" but her versions of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now" and "If You Could See Me Now" are quite lovely, and she takes "Over the Rainbow" as a haunting, unaccompanied vocal. This is one of her better releases and an excellent example of what her live shows were like during 1998-1999. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 2, 2020 | Jazzheads

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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Concord Records

For her entry into the increasingly popular Great American Songbook subgenre, Diane Schuur de-emphasizes the vocal histrionics that in the past have come close to spoiling some of her recordings and maintains a steady, clear, exuberant tone. Good move: one of Schuur's gifts is her multi-octave range, but she has often over-relied on it at the expense of whatever song she was singing. Here, she takes to the classic compositions of George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, and the like with a respectfulness and glee that allow her to frame and expose these culturally embedded lyrics and melodies without beating on them. If anything, Schuur is overly cautious at times -- there's a girl-like quality to her voice here that belies her 50-plus years, and she sometimes lays back where before she might have trampled. But she's clearly enjoying this repertoire; it's as if, by exploring these ancient tunes, she's discovered a fountain of youth along the way. Accompanied by longtime pianist Randy Porter, as well as guitarist Dan Balmer, bassist Scott Steed, and drummer Reggie Jackson, Schuur largely stays in a ballad-to-midtempo range on standards like "Blue Skies," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "My Favorite Things," and Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne's "It's Magic." She's comfortable there, and the lack of a hurried pace allows her to utilize her still impressive range to get the most from the tunes without falling into the trap of milking them. © Jeff Tamarkin /TiVo
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 1987 | GRP

This CD features a logical combination: singer Diane Schuur with the Count Basie big band. In what would be longtime rhythm guitarist Freddie Green's final performance, Schuur and the Basie ghost band (under the direction of Frank Foster) perform material that includes her standards (such as "Deedles' Blues" and "Climbing Higher Mountains"), Dave Brubeck's "Travlin' Blues" and the Joe Williams-associated "Everyday I Have The Blues." Unfortunately, the Basie band is mostly used in accompaniment without any significant solos, but Schuur sounds quite comfortable in this format and her voice is in prime form. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Concord Records

On this set, Diane Schuur performs 13 songs written or co-written by Barry Manilow, most of which are new. On first glance, the project may not seem to have much potential, particularly if one thinks of Manilow's pop records. However, other than a charming vocal duet on the closing "Anytime," Manilow is not on this date and the emphasis is on Schuur's beautiful voice. Fortunately, she takes most of the songs pretty straight, sounding at her best throughout. Manilow proves to be an underrated songwriter, contributing some touching ballads and a few swingers while collaborating with some talented and often witty lyricists. A few of the songs are good enough to become standards (though the odds are against it) and there are some short horn solos along the way. Karrin Allyson duets with Schuur on the humorous "Stay Away from Bill," and singer Brian McKnight helps out on "I'll Be There." All in all, Midnight is a surprising success easily recommended to fans of Diane Schuur's voice. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Concord Records

Diane Schuur, one of the greatest entertainers in the world, makes her Concord Jazz debut with Friends for Schuur and it is remarkable. Her multifaceted vocal artistry is featured in great company on 11 sensational songs including two "live" concerts that feature Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. There is even a digitally reintroduced version of "Easy Living," featuring the great Stan Getz. Diane Schuur is regal and she's soulful, passionate, and playful and her avid listeners know immediately that her voice has all the right qualities: technique, range, and adaptability to pop, jazz, gospel, and blues. "I'd Fly" is a definite smooth jazz hit. She sings its sexy, but beautifully contoured melody, romantic lyrics with such yearning and passion that this late-night romantic ballad should land solidly on the charts. Her duet with Stevie Wonder on "Finally" is prime. Her "live" duet with Ray Charles on "It Had to Be You" is packed full of soul, and all the while, you know you're in the middle of something amazing. The great songwriters Alan Bergman and Dave Grusin place their inimitable stamp on the essential "It Might Be You" (Theme From "Tootsie") and with Schuur's heartfelt vocals, it clearly remains one of the best songs of the 20th century. Friends for Schuur brings you the new first lady of jazz at the height of her award-winning career. With it, Diane Schuur becomes the consummate entertainer whose dreams are forever intertwined with the greatest names in jazz and contemporary music. © Paula Edelstein /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1994 | GRP

B.B. King is more than just one of the greatest masters of electric blues guitar; he is also an extraordinarily gifted singer. His talents on his instrument are so great that they tend to eclipse his soulful and sophisticated singing voice, but any who might possibly have doubted his ability will do so no more upon hearing Heart to Heart. On this 1994 release, he joins pop-jazz balladeer Diane Schuur for ten surprising tracks. It is a very moody album, with the overall vibe being mainly of the drown-your-broken-heart-in-gin variety. Some of the string and synth arrangements come off as a little unnecessary, as the music is ably framed by piano, guitar, bass, and drums. However, producer Phil Ramone should be credited for minimizing the schmaltzy moments on Heart to Heart as much as possible, as the music is already treading the fine line between sentiment and drivel. The fine vocal performances by Schuur and King carry much of the music, but drummer Vinnie Colaiuta does the rest. Take, for example, "It Had to Be You." With Doug Katsaros' synth prominently displayed and with the band limping through a Vegas-style funk groove, the drummer's extreme sensitivity and chops enliven the track and not only make it listenable, but one of the high points of the record. Fans of King's blues work may be very surprised by how effectively he slips into the role of balladeer and pop interpreter. To be honest, he does it far more convincingly than Schuur. © Daniel Gioffre /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1997 | GRP

The Very Best of Diane Schuur is a fine collection of 13 of the vocalist's most popular recordings for GRP, featuring such tracks as "All Right, OK, You Win (I'm in Love With You)," "Try a Little Tenderness," "Sunday Kind of Love," "Deed I Do," "Time for Love," "'Round Midnight," "Stormy Monday Blues," "Deedles' Blues," and "New York State of Mind." For collectors and serious fans, this has no purpose, but for casual fans and neophytes, this is an ideal purchase. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | GRP

Released in 1989, Collection sums up Diane Schuur's first five GRP albums, a period when she achieved a level of acclaim that tailed off somewhat in the '90s. What has been gathered together here is often very impressive, her rich, full voice keening over carefully wrought, beautifully recorded lush backdrops (with real or electronic strings), swinging over some fine big bands, or coming to terms with '80s jazz funksters. Strangely, there is only one selection from her live-in-the-studio collaboration Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra, which is the best overall album from this period (it features guitarist Freddie Green's last recorded performance) -- while the other albums (Deedles, Schuur Thing, Timeless, Talkin' 'Bout You) get multiple representation. It's quite possible that Schuur has never topped the leadoff track, Ivan Lins' beguiling "Love Dance" -- with her sponsor Stan Getz weaving a magic spell, this is a great example of the right material meeting the right singer and the right backing. Dave Grusin, Johnny Mandel, Billy May, Pat Williams, and Jeremy Lubbock are the arrangers whose tracks were chosen -- and everything has the brilliant sonic sheen that turned on the audiophile crowd early in the CD era. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Concord Records

Well regarded as one of our greatest living jazz singers, Schuur seems to enjoy album titles created out of puns of her name -- prior to this there was Friends for Schuur -- but don't let the novelties distract you from this sassy, explosively brassy swing project blending her inventive vocals with Ferguson's blistering trumpet and the ensemble energy of his Big Bop Nouveau Band. Aside from crisp performances by both, the real key to the success here is the unexpected arrangements of standards by various members of Ferguson's band. Two classics generally rendered as intimate ballads -- "Autumn Leaves" and "My Romance" -- are rendered as easy swaying, frisky finger-snapping romps. The interlude after the first verse on "Autumn Leaves" typifies the way Ferguson lets his guys jam before he steps up and challenges them with a powerful wailing flurry of high notes. "My Romance" finds Schuur moving out of her crystal clear midrange safety zone and reaching the high registers, with a few vocal notes matched at the end by the trumpet. Many of the arrangements are like baritone saxman Denis DiBlasio's twist on "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" -- Schuur gliding over a snappy but subdued jazz trio before Ferguson and company burst in with increasingly muscular horn textures, which then push her to emotional heights. Most of the songs incorporate such mood swings, but "Deep Purple" stays a slow, seductive, and subdued ballad the whole way through. Schuur once again proves she's an amazing vocalist who can sing along with the best of them. Is there another singer who's made duet recordings with both Ferguson and B.B. King? © Jonathan Widran /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | GRP

Excellent tenor sax from Stan Getz; some nice leads. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Concord Records

Having displayed a knack in the past for reinterpreting both pop and jazz tunes, jazz vocalist Diane Schuur once again succeeds in bringing together an unexpected mix of compositions on Schuur Fire. Featuring the Caribbean Jazz Project, the album finds Schuur's clarion vocals melding nicely with vibist Dave Samuels' superb Latin jazz ensemble -- especially trumpeter Diego Urcola, who takes some tasty solos throughout. To these ends, listeners discover that James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" makes for a comfortable soft jazz number with a nice double-time midsection, and Stevie Wonder's "As" fits perfectly into the uptempo Latin dance style. Interestingly, Sergio Mendes' "Look Around" is given a faithfully retro feel that harks back to such shiny vocal groups as the Free Design. However, nobody but Schuur could have predicted how great Don Gibson's classic country tune "I Can't Stop Loving You" would sound as a samba. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 23, 1996 | GRP

This set of ten concise standards (which totals in at around 36 minutes) finds Diane Schuur singing in prime form. The interpretations are straightforward, without much improvising, although Schuur is quite soulful, showing the influence of late-period Dinah Washington (whose hit "Blue Gardenia" she revives). The excess of Schuur's early years is gone, and in its place is a warm, contented voice that sounds best on such ballads as "Say It Isn't So" and "How Deep Is the Ocean," as well as the swingers "Love Walked In" and "You're a Sweetheart." There are occasional short solos for trumpeter Jack Sheldon, trombonist Andy Martin and the tenor of Pete Christlieb, but this is very much Schuur's show. A fine effort. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1993 | GRP

The jazz content on this CD from singer Diane Schuur is rather slight, but this is actually one of her finest recordings. Schuur (who has a lovely voice) sings straightforward versions of ten veteran ballads while accompanied by one of two string orchestras. Tom Scott on reeds and trumpeter Jack Sheldon have short spots, but this is very much Schuur's show. She really excels in the restrained setting, making this a superior middle-of-the-road pop recording. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | GRP

On this well-intentioned set, Diane Schuur sings 13 standards that she individually dedicated to 12 singers: Billie Holiday (who is saluted with two songs), Helen Morgan, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Libby Holman, Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Ivie Anderson, Nancy Wilson and Mabel Mercer. In most cases, the arrangements for the huge string orchestra (contributed by Billy May, Johnny Mandel, Jeremy Lubbock, Clare Fischer or Alan Broadbent) weigh down the music a bit, and none of Schuur's renditions quite reach the heights of her role models. Still, Diane Schuur's voice is quite attractive, and taken on its own merit, this sincere CD (which has an informative 40-page booklet) is generally enjoyable. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | GRP

Diane Schuur has always been one of the world's greatest modern jazz voices, and her purity on this collection makes for her most artistic yet accessible statement to date. She may be broadening her scope to include pop, but she's also sure to pay homage to her jazzy upbringing, most notably on her stunning renditions of "Unforgettable" (the same year Natalie Cole triumphed with the song) and "Deed I Do," a sassy big-band duet with the late Joe Williams. The magic of Pure Schuur lies in Schuur's ability to pick and interpret such a wide range of songs with so many different types of arrangements. While producer Andre Fischer seems to have a grand old time backing Deedles with sporty horn sections and synthesized sounds, the album is most effective with minimal instrumentation, as on the magnificent "You Don't Remember Me" and "We Can Only Try." As with Frank Sinatra and the like, Schuur is blessed with good-to-great songs, smart arrangers, and stellar productions, but it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that...voice. Schuur's is clear, rich, and powerful, mixing fun and romance as only a jazz legend in the making can. © Jonathan Widran /TiVo
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released June 10, 2014 | Jazzheads

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Vanguard Records

Including compilations, jazz pianist and vocalist Diane Schuur has over 20 recordings. That said, she's never issued anything like The Gathering, her debut offering for Vanguard. Cut in Nashville in one day -- with another dedicated to overdubs and fixes -- Schuur and her band perform ten absolutely classic songs from the country music canon in her own signature style. It's clear that while she wanted to be reverent toward the material, she was also interested in omitting the twang. Schuur plays acoustic piano, but is also backed by Mike Rojas on Wurlitzer, Eddie Bayers on drums, Steve Gibson on guitar, bassist Michael Rhodes, and vibraphonist Eric Darken. The set opens with a stellar rendition of Hank Cochran's ballad "Why Can't He Be You?" Schuur croons and swoons vocally, moving the tune toward the pop audience Cochran was reaching for when he wrote it. This is followed by a beautiful reading of Willie Nelson's "Healing Hands of Time," on which saxophonist Kirk Whalum adds a deeply soulful solo without forsaking any of the tune's melodic intent; it is painted further by Mark Knopfler's and producer Steve Buckingham's guitars. The reading of Dallas Frazier's "Beneath Still Waters" isn't as emotionally moving as Emmylou Harris', but perhaps that's because Schuur foregoes a plaintive vocal in favor of a full-throated bluesy one. The reading of Tammy Wynette's "Til I Can Make It on My Own" does the opposite: it may lack the drama of the author's version, but in its place are warmth and elegance. Vince Gill lends harmony vocals to Merle Haggard's and Bonnie Owens' "Today I Started Loving You Again," which is funked-up George Benson-style by the addition of Larry Carlton's guitar as the cut's driving force. Alison Krauss harmonizes on another Cochran tune, "Don't Touch Me," with the lilting Wurlitzer underscoring Schuur's lead vocal. Perhaps the most compelling track here is her version of Bill Anderson's and Roger Miller's "When Two Worlds Collide," as jazz and country meet head on and become something else. The set closes with a radical take on Kris Kristofferson's "Nobody Wins." Schuur's precise vocal, pronounces each syllable in declamatory style; it's stretched by Gibson's guitar playing, accenting the ends of her lines and elongating them. One might imagine that Schuur used Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and Patsy Cline's later recordings as inspirations, but her revisioning of these legendary songs is uniquely her own, placing them in neither the jazz nor country camps, but firmly in the realm of classy American pop. © Thom Jurek /TiVo

Jazz - Released September 20, 2016 | GR Entertainment

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