“I can’t think of a more regal singer in the world,” Dakota Jazz Club proprietor Lowell Pickett said in introducing Dianne Reeves on Tuesday night.
Indeed, she has won four Grammys and a stellar reputation in a career that has included 18 studio albums. Her latest, “Beautiful Life,” is a finalist for the Grammy for best jazz vocal album next month.
Here are a few thoughts about her early show on Tuesday:
*There were a few magical moments, notably “Misty” when she was clearly groovin’ (loved her soft scream off mic) and the wordless vocal number "Tango" that evolved into her singing her life story (in English) to the melody.
* Reeves has an unstoppable personality. She proved to be a warm, inviting storyteller whose charisma helped carry the performance. The way she sang the intros of her three sidemen, to an island groove, was quite entertaining.
*After talking about the blizzard on the East Coast and the 70-degree day in her hometown of Denver, she delivered “Stormy Weather” with hushed intimacy. It felt like a steady drizzle, nothing threatening, but still a bit dreary. That's a compliment, not a complaint.
* Reeves is a marvelous scat singer.“That’s All” opened with some free-wheeling bebop scatting and by the end of it she was scartting in the groove. On a couple of numbers, she had issues reaching her high notes but her work in her middle and lower registers gave plenty of evidence of the aforementioned regal-ness.
* After 13 minutes of instrumental selections by her trio to open the evening, Reeves was onstage for only 63 minutes (with no encore). That seemed too brief.
Reeves performs again at 7 and 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Dakota Jazz Club.