Diane Schuur, who has sometimes been on the periphery of jazz, balances her importance as a dedicated jazz singer with the inclusion of a large dose of pop tunes in her repertoire. Early in her career she had the tendency to screech in her upper register, but with maturity that flaw has largely disappeared and she has become a very impressive singer. Blinded at birth due to a hospital accident, Schuur (who would later be nicknamed "Deedles") imitated singers as a child.
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.
Two-time Grammy® Award winner and one of contemporary jazz's leading vocalists, Diane Schuur, has signed with Vanguard Records. She will be releasing her label debut, The Gathering, on June 7th. With a distinguished career that spans nearly three decades, Schuur's new album is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum.
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. ~ AllMusic
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.