Picks and Pans Review: Talkin' 'bout You

updated 11/07/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Diane Schuur

Start out with a band that includes Tom Scott, Steve Gadd, Richard Tee and Steve Khan. Add a set of songs that includes three by Ray Charles, one by Kye Fleming and Janis Ian and the Arthur Hamilton standard Cry Me a River. That adds up to about nine-tenths of a full-fledged pleasure already. The tone is more along R&B lines than Schuur's previous two albums—fusion keyboardist Dave Grusin having kicked himself upstairs to executive producer while former Windham Hill exec Steven Miller produced this one. When Schuur sets out to belt or, worse, try for a gospel kind of power, she seems to be pushing her voice past its limits. But she sounds relaxed and smoothly bluesy most of the time. (While the usual comparison is with Dinah Washington, she may make some people think of the '30s pop-jazz singer Mildred Bailey on this record.) There's even something for the out-and-out sentimentalists—Life Goes On, a tune Schuur wrote at 16 with her father, an Auburn, Wash., police captain, when her mother died. (GPP)

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