Picks and Pans Review: Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra

updated 11/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra

Schuur sounds as hale and hearty of voice as ever. The Basie band, led by saxophonist Frank Foster in this instance, remains a spectacularly brassy, surpassingly vigorous jazz organization. The album was recorded live in a Los Angeles studio, without overdubbing. Yet with all this going for it, the twain do not meet on many tracks, and the record seems routine. Somehow Schuur's scatting and the band's swinging carry on independent of each other most of the time. When Foster's saxophone takes up with Schuur on the Morgan Ames/Foster tune You Can Have It, it suggests what might have been if band and singer had, literally, gotten their act together. Give Schuur credit, though, for taking on the memories of Billie Holiday, by singing Travelin' Light, and Joe Williams, by doing Everyday, which Williams and Basie turned into a jazz institution. If nothing else, this fifth album demonstrates convincingly that Schuur is no wilting violet. (GRP)

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