Beautiful Life

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Throughout her career, Dianne Reeves has, perhaps more than any other vocalist, blurred the line that separates jazz from pop and contemporary R&B, extending the boundaries of each. Beautiful Life is her first recording in five years and her debut for Concord. Carefully produced by Terri Lynne Carrington, the musical cast includes Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, Reginald Veal, Sheila E., Sean Jones, Marvin Sewell, Gregory Porter, Gerald Clayton, Richard Bona, Lalah Hathaway, and her late cousin George Duke. The opener is a thoroughly inventive Carrington arrangement of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You," which underscores the gossamer quality in Reeves' voice and jazz ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Throughout her career, Dianne Reeves has, perhaps more than any other vocalist, blurred the line that separates jazz from pop and contemporary R&B, extending the boundaries of each. Beautiful Life is her first recording in five years and her debut for Concord. Carefully produced by Terri Lynne Carrington, the musical cast includes Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding, Reginald Veal, Sheila E., Sean Jones, Marvin Sewell, Gregory Porter, Gerald Clayton, Richard Bona, Lalah Hathaway, and her late cousin George Duke. The opener is a thoroughly inventive Carrington arrangement of Marvin Gaye's "I Want You," which underscores the gossamer quality in Reeves' voice and jazz phrasing, sacrificing none of the original's seductive soul -- it's as much of the spirit as it is of the flesh -- and features a fine trumpet solo by Jones. A brilliant reading of Stevie Nicks' "Dreams" is introduced by Terreon Gully's tight, woody rimshots and Glasper's gospel piano and ethereal keyboards. Reeves subtly draws on her gospel roots in the lyric amid skittering breaks and beats. Nadia Washington's lithe backing vocal floats amid the atmospheric textures before Reeves carries it out with Afro-Latin scatting. Carrington's "Satiated (Been Waiting)" is a sensual, sultry duet with Porter. Colored by horns, piano, electric guitar, and Duke's subtle keyboard treatments, its singers wed the gospel of Ray Charles and the blues of Nina Simone to jazz. Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain" is introduced by a glistening synth before Glasper's piano, and Romero Lubambo's nylon-string frame the melody. Reggae, bossa, and even a languid mambo wind through as Hathaway soars in the background, supporting the ache in Reeves' delivery of longing and affirmation with Afro-Caribbean scatting in the bridge. It's followed by a groove-laden funk redo of Ani DiFranco's "32 Flavors," with backing vocals by Carrington and Washington; Jones' layered trumpets pop amid wah-wah guitars and keyboards. It's sexy as hell. Spalding's "Wild Rose" is airy, jazzy R&B highlighting Reeves' trademark gift for syncopated phrasing. A thorough reconstruction of Harold Arlen's "Stormy Weather" teams Reeves' steamy contralto and effortless falsetto with Tineke Postma's soprano saxophone and Peter Martin's glistening piano arpeggios. Soul and contemporary pop and jazz are threaded through the original melody, underscoring its reputation as a "standard." Reeves' own "Tango," with Raul Midon, commences as one, but her wordless vocal improvisation and the simmering percussion are derived from Afro-Cuban sources. As a result, the tune mutates first into rhumba and then a furious salsa, with the singer soaring above the erupting rhythmic fury. Closer "Long Road Ahead" -- an original -- seamlessly combines neo-soul, jazz, and gospel. The unwavering conviction in Reeves' voice is gracefully and elegantly complemented by Gregoire Maret's harmonica. Beautiful Life is Reeves' finest record to date. It not only blurs genre lines but erases them. The end result is a glorious and accessible music that is as sophisticated as it is emotionally honest.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/11/2014
  • Label: Concord Records
  • UPC: 888072341715
  • Catalog Number: 34171
  • Sales rank: 6,393

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Want You - Sean Jones (4:57)
  2. 2 Feels So Good (Lifted) - Nadia Washington (4:25)
  3. 3 Dreams - Robert Glasper (5:19)
  4. 4 Satiated (Been Waiting) - Gregory Porter (5:38)
  5. 5 Waiting In Vain (6:35)
  6. 6 32 Flavors (5:26)
  7. 7 Cold (6:13)
  8. 8 Wild Rose - Esperanza Spalding (5:50)
  9. 9 Stormy Weather - Tineke Postma (8:02)
  10. 10 Tango - Raul Midón (6:35)
  11. 11 Unconditional Love (For You) (5:42)
  12. 12 Long Road Ahead - Grégoire Maret (3:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dianne Reeves Primary Artist, Vocals
Lalah Hathaway Vocals
Terri Lyne Carrington Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals
George Duke Synthesizer, Keyboards, Soloist
Dwight Sills Guitar
Reginald Veal Bass
Sheila E. Percussion, Conga
James Genus Bass
Munyungo Jackson Percussion
Romero Lubambo Acoustic Guitar
Shedrick Mitchell Organ
Marvin Sewell Guitar
Ingrid Jensen Trumpet
Bobby Sparks Organ, Keyboards, Clavinet
Carl Burnett Guitar
Richard Bona Bass
Terreon Gully Drums
Grégoire Maret Harmonica
Peter Martin Piano
Sean Jones Percussion, Trumpet
Esperanza Spalding Bass, Background Vocals
Robert Glasper Piano, Keyboards
Tineke Postma Soprano Saxophone
Leo Genovese Keyboards
Gerald Clayton Piano, Keyboards
Tia Fuller Trumpet, Alto Saxophone
Gregory Porter Vocals
Cedric Hanriot Keyboards
Ray Angry Piano
Camille Thurman Flute
Nadia Washington Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Leonardo Osuna Percussion
Leandro Pellegrino Guitar
Christian St. Louis Bass
Technical Credits
Bob Marley Composer
Lalah Hathaway Vocal Arrangements
Stevie Nicks Composer
Geri Allen Composer
Terri Lyne Carrington Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Horn Arrangements
Peter Sprague Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Ani DiFranco Composer
Romero Lubambo Arranger
Dianne Reeves Composer
Paul Vastola Engineer
Leon Ware Composer
Darryl Pitt Management
Paul Blakemore Mastering
Ted Koehler Composer
Arthur Ross Composer
Terreon Gully Composer
Peter Martin Arranger, Composer
Esperanza Spalding Composer
Matt Hayes Engineer
Sinan Aksu Retouching
Jeremy Loucas Engineer
Albert J. Roman Art Direction
Matt Malikowski Engineer
Paul Johnston Engineer
Ray Angry Arranger, Producer
Charles Overton Programming
Rod Steger Engineer
Ian Cassel Engineer
Nadia Washington Composer
Omar Thomas Horn Arrangements
Kevin Gundlach Engineer
Jerris Madison Retouching
Harvey Jackson Photo Assistance
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