Dianne Reeves – Live at PDX Jazz 2005

Dianne Reeves
Live at PDX Jazz 2005

by S.H. Watkins, Sr.

The headliner at this year’s PDX Jazz festival was 3-time Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves. The room was full when the diva came on stage. The VIP package for this show at the Hilton Grand Ballroom included a Touch of Tuscany Buffet featuring NW Wines so many of the patrons had been here for a while enjoying dinner before the show.

Everyone was relaxed and ready for the show of the season, and the performance did not disappoint. After a few words about the festival and her band, Dianne noted that the place felt “warm and cozy, like a living room”, then she proceeded to deliver a performance for the ages. Smooth and strong, Reeves sang tracks from her new CD as well as some new material. It’s Dianne Reeves ability to be solid when the material warrants it, then drop right down into synch with the audience that sets her above the average singer…. her ability to connect.

The highlight for me was an impromptu, Africanesque piece that featured an extended session of ‘hark and call’ between Reeves and the audience. The band was fluid and was on the mark whether doing the practiced parts or the ad lib stuff. All in all it was a fitting end to another wonderful year of jazz at the PDX Jazz Festival.