Dianne Reeves

Released February 13, 2001

Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2002

YouTube: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mo6hM7JLY6xNXSSydIRVMd19lJ1cUWs4g

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2cu4Pd5F2fl3U0wSMxJkmo?si=980I_4K6RMyzOV8ohYEEcA


The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan is a 2001 studio album by Dianne Reeves, recorded in tribute to Sarah Vaughan and mostly featuring songs closely identified with the great singer. In the liner notes, Reeves wrote, “Making this CD is the fulfillment of a dream born when I first heard Sarah Vaughan as a teenager. The dream continued to grow as I marveled at her magical touch with lyrics, melodies, harmonies and timbre. … She fearlessly explored unfamiliar areas in the realm of vocal musical expression, reaching, ascending, grasping and possessing. Sarah was never content to luxuriate in her past laurels, but her musical appetite propelled her forward throughout her career. She never deserted her calling.” Reeves also mentions that her first Vaughan album was Sarah Vaughan with Michel Legrand and tells of how she met Vaughan at a 1975 tribute concert for Cannonball Adderley. She told a woman she was speaking with that she loved Vaughan, not realizing that the woman was Vaughan herself.

Track Listing:

1. Lullaby of Birdland (George Shearing / George David Weiss) 4:44

2. Send in the Clowns (Stephen Sondheim) 6:03

3. Speak Low (Ogden Nash / Kurt Weill) 6:26

4. Obsession (Dori Caymmi / Barry Mann) 7:37

5. If You Could See Me Now (Tadd Dameron / Carl Sigman) 6:44

6. I Remember Sarah 4:20

7. Key Largo (Lou Carter / Karl Suessdorf / Leah Worth) 4:11

8. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You (Ray Noble) 5:41

9. Fascinating Rhythm (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin) 5:24

10. Embraceable You (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin) 7:56

11. A Chamada (The Call) (Milton Nascimento) 6:17


Dianne Reeves: vocals

Billy Childs: piano (2, 4, 9)

Mulgrew Miller: piano (1-3, 5-8, 12)

Reginald Veal: upright bass & electric bass (9)

Greg Hutchinson: drums

Clark Terry: trumpet (8)

Steve Wilson: alto & soprano saxophones (2, 4, 7)

Romero Lubambo: acoustic guitar (3, 4, 7, 11)

Russell Malone: acoustic guitar (10)

Munyungo Jackson: percussion (3, 4, 7, 9, 11)

Recorded September 9 – 11, 2000, at Burbank, CA

Produced by George Duke

Arranged and Orchestrated by Billy Childs (except 7 and 8, by Robert Freedman)


The ever-restless Dianne Reeves tries to do something unconventional with an utterly conventional idea — a tribute album to Sarah Vaughan — and ends up overdoing the whole thing, though it’s not really her fault. While the virtuosic Reeves often cannot resist reaching down into her chest register for some daring, earthy, Sassy-like swoops (“Key Largo” and “If You Could See Me Now” are key examples) or a daring vocalise like “A Chamada,” she mostly retains her own identity in these 11 tunes, with a bright timbre that cannot be mistaken for that of Sassy. The element that does this project in are the overblown charts for a 36-piece orchestra that sounds a lot bigger and more congested than it is. Arranger/pianist Billy Childs (spelled on two tracks by Robert Freedman) is rarely content to relax and let a groove happen; he’s too busy filling every conceivable space with all kinds of swirling, convoluted ideas that compete with, rather than enhance, the singer and the tunes. The one original tune on the session, “I Remember Sarah,” opens with a scat chorus, then pianist Mulgrew Miller plays the blues, and Reeves does her familiar style of autobiographical rap in song. The best moment occurs when cagey veteran Clark Terry offers some jive talking in back of Reeves on “I Hadn’t Anyone ‘Til You” and some deliciously sly plunger mute trumpet work, fighting the orchestra all the way. Of course, it could be said that an over the top tribute to this larger than life diva is the only appropriate thing to do, but that doesn’t make this session — recorded quickly in the old manner — any more listenable.

Richard S. Ginell (Allmusic)