The Jazzcat

Home for the Holidays with Dianne Reeves and the Los Angeles Philharmonic!

by on Dec.26, 2004, under News



Slide Show

Finally I am facing

the stage here at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I have visited the

Disney Concert Hall on many occasions and I always seem to be seated

behind the stage but tonight, I have a full frontal!




It is the Christmas

holiday season and the stage is garnished with big beautiful

poinsettias. The Los Angeles Philharmonic looks mighty dapper sporting

their finest in all black. The hall is packed in anticipation of the

wonderful sounds of the season sung by none other than the high and

mighty priestess of jazz music herself, Miss Dianne Reeves! She will

once again be joined by the conductor William Henry Curry for another

dynamic performance backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.




The LA Phil starts

out with two pieces, “A Christmas Festival (Anderson) and Tchaikovsky’s

“The Nutcracker” Waltz and Finale from Act II as well as

Ellington/Strayhorn and Tyzinko’s “The Nutcracker Suite: Pianist Britte

Brigade”. The sound is big and dynamic. I can only imagine what will

happen when Dianne Reeves hits the stage!


image image


Peter Martin, Ruben

Rogers and Greg Hutchinson waltz on the stage to play Ellington and

Strayhorn's version of the Nutcracker and the dynamics of the audience

change. Just add one drop of jazz and it controls the whole pot.

Swinging? Most definitely! The applause was a little louder and

certainly more heart felt. That, my friends, is the power of jazz music!




The LA Phil exits the

stage leaving only the trio joined by Romero Lubambo. The lights

dim and the gorgeous Dianne Reeves enters dawning a winter wonderland

of white that shines, shimmers and twinkles like the snowflakes of the

season. Her instrument is strong, clear and as lovely as ever! The

sweetness of the quartet joined with the soulful and perfectly soothing

voice of Dianne Reeves is one of the best gifts that Father Christmas

could ever bring.




“Christmas Time is

Here” is already one of my favorite holiday pieces and Peter just puts

the frosting all over it. Dianne impresses upon the audience that our

own individual stories are what weave the fabric of our lives and that

they need to be told. That is one of her favorite things to do, just

sit around with family and listen to the stories.




“Home for the

Holidays” literally has so much meaning for Dianne this year because

for the first time in a long time, this is exactly what she gets to do.

Instead of being on the road performing all over the world in other

countries, she will be at home with family this season and after

tonight’s performance, she is looking forward to some much needed R

& R. She says that she can sing but, she can really cook. I am

certainly a believer! She also expresses her love and concern for those

who can’t be home with their families this season.




The weather outside may be frightening where you are but, here in Los Angeles,

it is a warm 78 degrees. Dianne’s voice captivates and soars with ease

to the heights of the Disney Concert Hall as she and the cats cool off

the place with some of the most beautiful Christmas music from Dianne’s

brand new album, “Christmas Time is Here” as well as some holiday

classics like “A Christmas Festival”, “A Sleigh Ride” and more

performed with the LA Phil.




Ruben Rogers is

always a delight to watch and hear. His personality is all up in his

playing. Fun, warm, efficient, confident and right on the mark! Greg

Hutchinson is an equally outstanding performer to behold as well. Greg

has been the drummer for many a jazz diva and provides just the right

flavor to kick it up a notch or two. The two together with Peter Martin

and the lovely guitar serenades of Romero Lubambo make for the best in

holiday music. Improvising and developing new creations on stage and in

an instant, specially designing lyrics for tonight’s audience, each of

these major talents express themselves in solos that capture the spirit

and the energy of the holidays.




Always holding on to

tradition but, making sure to keep in touch with the songs and phrases

of today, Dianne incorporates many delicacies for all genres to

understand, love and appreciate. I would imagine that her youthful

counterparts may be partly responsible for this. There is such melodic

and rhythmic beauty when you hear her word vibrantly enchant the

microphone and fill the air. Dianne swims through octaves like a gold

medalist, the audience will take home with them this holiday, the

sounds of Christmas jazz expressed with love, peace and light!


LeRoy Downs




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