Picks and Pans Review: Diane Schuur

updated 07/13/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/1992 01:00AM

In Tribute

There's an inherent danger in tribute albums. The performer is almost never the equal of the object of adoration. So it is with Schuur and her vocal valentine to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday and many others.

Schuur has a powerful voice not always under tight control. Journeys up the scale often end in shrieks and squeals. When delicacy is needed, say in "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" (Vaughan), Schuur offers it up fortissimo. Just when you think she's captured the haunting " 'Round Midnight" (Carmen McRae), she tramples the moment with vocal excesses.

True, Schuur delivers a terrifically propulsive—albeit a bit too over the top—"How High the Moon" (Fitzgerald) and a soaring "The Best Is Yet to Come" (Nancy Wilson). But when she's done, you only want to hear the originals. (GRP)

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