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Review: Dianne Reeves

Cabaret Festival

Dianne Reeves is a beautiful singer with a smile that lights up the stage. A professional at the top of her game, she entertains effortlessly and enthusiastically.

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One of the joys of live performance is seeing an artist totally immersed in their music, and in the case of jazz musicians, it is seeing them also enjoying the musicianship of others. Reeves’ band began this Adelaide Cabaret Festival performance, setting the scene for a night of exceptional jazz and superb entertainment.

Reeves then managed to musically welcome us midway through a song – a refreshing way to warm up and relate with an audience.

Winner of five Grammy Awards for best jazz vocal album, she is also a brilliant raconteur and, when introducing her song “Nine”, she intrigued and delighted with observations about the innocence of childhood.

Peter Martin, on piano, was brilliant; guitarist Romero Lubambo had one superb solo after another and Terreon Gully gave a master-class in precision percussion.

After another admirable anecdote about her opportunity to perform in Ella Fitzgerald’s shoes, Reeves performed a unique  version of Gershwin’s “The Man I Love”, with Reginald Veal on double bass.

Her incredible voice is comfortable with jazz, rhythm and blues, Latin American and African sounds: she seamlessly shifts between styles, all the while holding her audience in thrall.

In the final set, Reeves described the stage as a “playground”, where she and her band love what they are doing. The night was a fabulously balanced evening that created a series of magical and memorable moments: Reeves spoke as if she would like to return and, if she does, I suggest you do whatever you can to see her live.

Dianne Reeves performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre for one night only as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. See more Adelaide Cabaret Festival reviews and previews here.

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