Diane Schuur

Music Is My Life

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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.

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