Diane Schuur

Collection

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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.

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