Dianne Reeves has deservedly been hoisted on high as one of the top five jazz voices in the decade of the 2000s. Her four Grammy Awards and her music from the movie soundtrack Good Night, and Good Luck solidified Reeves' upper-echelon placement. When You Know showcases material going off into the shallow end of the pool, away from legitimate jazz, and covering languid and lush pop songs. George Duke, who has over-produced many a recording in his time, is not quite in the realm of Tommy LiPuma or Creed Taylor, but he has done more than his share to give Reeves an orchestrated backdrop to sing songs she likes.
Dianne Reeves has been one of the top singers in jazz ever since the late '80s. A logical successor to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae (although even she can't reach the impossible heights of Ella and Sarah Vaughan), Reeves is a superior interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer.
It doesn't happen often enough, but every once in a while a new jazz singer will emerge with all of the classic elements associated with the genre: stellar phrasing, authentic emotion, tasteful inflection, and expertise at selecting appropriate material. Such elements are on hand for Dianne Reeves' self-titled 1987 debut.
This disc reissues Dianne Reeves' entire 1982 LP Welcome to My Love, plus three tracks from 1985's For Every Heart and one selection from her days as a vocalist with the band Caldera. It contains the first recorded version of her classic "Better Days" and one of the best renditions of the overworked standard "My Funny Valentine" as you're likely to hear. On Welcome, Reeves was exploring the jazz/R&B territory she would claim as her own a decade later. "For Every Heart" was much more commercial, but the three cuts chosen here are worthwhile, especially a duet with Jon Lucien, "Separate Vacations."