Gary Giddins
May 31, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I Remember

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Diane Reeves
Producers
Blue Note, Capitol
genre
Jazz

We gave it a D

The promise evident in Diane Reeves’ singing back in the ’70s has now dissipated into mannerisms that tend to obscure rather than reveal the songs she sings. There are isolated moments on her new (and currently popular) album, I Remember — the first chorus of ”The Nearness of You,” ”For All We Know” — in which her big sound and impressive range are encouraging. But on almost every track, the tastelessness of her embellishments (which incline toward a high-note blare), and unflattering engineering (the music doesn’t sound mixed; it’s all pins and needles) result in cold, emotionally remote performances. ”Afro Blue” is overdubbed into a state of hysteria; surefire standards like ”Love for Sale” and ”Softly as in a Morning Sunrise” are made shrill and lusterless. D

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