In her clear, crisp voice, five-time Grammy-award winner Dianne Reeves managed to get all the way to the end of her tribute song to her mother, titled “I Remember,” before she briefly broke down at Jazz at the Lincoln Center, The Ramp, Rodney Bay, at the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. Before presenting the offering on Friday night, she told the audience the day marked the anniversary of her mother’s transition–a woman who in many ways, she said, was the pillar that held her up.
Reeves had earlier graced the stage as the evening’s headline act wearing an Afro-styled hairdo, a comfortable loose-fitting knee-length dress and strapless sandals. She immediately went to work on her craft, delivering a pore-raising rendition of I Love You Until the End of Never, during which time she also stopped to freestyle a greeting to the audience, encouraging them to enjoy her entertainment.
Throughout her performance, Reeves remained very relaxed and performed her songs effortlessly, churning out classics from her various albums and opting at times to do some cover pieces, but only of the singers she highly regards, like the late reggae megastar Bob Marley, to whom she also paid tribute with a rendition of I Don’t Want to Wait in Vain. She also sent the audience in frenzy with her ability to do a full set in pure scat (vocal improvisation with wordless vocables), much to their appreciation as patrons shouted her name and clapped consistently.
Between her set, Reeves also shared words of wisdom with her audience, telling them over the years she has learned it is better to build bridges than walls. This, of course, was the inspiration for her song titled Bridges, which earned her three Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1999.