Sarah Vaughn is described as the singer's singer. She has inspired hundreds to sing the blues but only a few hold a candle to her flame.
Dianne Reeves has been credited with the best renditions of the late jazz singer, and this Thursday fans can enjoy the jazz classics when Dianne Reeve's and Friends hits Taipei for a single performance at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
The woman whose music Reeves performs on stage is also the major inspiration behind Reeves' decision to become a vocalist.
"I was young when I first heard her music. It was listening to her voice that I realized the possibilities in vocal music. She taught me that I needed to develop my own concept and way of singing," Reeves said in a telephone interview from her hotel in Australia.
Her Sassy renditions are unsurpassed, according to critics, but she is also credited with more then just cover songs.
Well-established in the music industry, she's won Grammys for Best Jazz Vocalist in 2000, 2001 and 2003, and her live performances include Carnegie Hall in addition to the closing ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
She is also known for blending genres, producing jazz covers of pop and rock material from artists such as Peter Gabriel.
"I grew up listening to everything. All genres in music should be without borders. You can learn so much from different styles of music," said Reeves, whose most recent discovery is American big-band music composer Maria Schneider.
This will be Reeves' first performance in Taiwan and comes in the middle of her Asian tour, which includes stops in Singapore, Japan, China and Australia.
She claims to have spent more time touring than at home in the US, but life on the road is all it's cracked up to be, she said.
"Since singing and performing is what I am passionate about, touring is something I take pleasure in doing. It affords us [her band] the opportunity to go to different places and reach people we wouldn't ordinarily have the opportunity to reach if we stayed at home," she said.
Contemporary jazz recordings rarely capture the same energy as a live performance, but a collection of Reeves' greatest hits proves her pre-recorded music has a likeness to a live stage show. The best tracks are the duets, such as Baby Its Cold Outside with Lou Rawls, but her smooth and sultry a cappella solos are lively too.
More often than not, live jazz and blues sound better in an intimate venue, where the vocalist can interact with his or her audience. Reeves, however, said she has no preference, and with only one night in Taipei, she wants to croon to as many Taiwanese as possible.
"Different settings create different shows. I like performing in all venues," she said.
She didn't say what audiences could expect at Thursday's show because, "I prefer to get a feel for the audience before I decide what songs I'm going to sing."
The show will include two 45-minute sets with both old and new material. Among the legendary jazz standards will be a few original numbers and duets, said Reeves who is sharing the stage with her band of four years.
What: Dianne Reeves & Friends
Where: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
When: Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7:45pm.
Tickets: NT$500 to NT$2,000, available through ERA ticket outlets or online at www.ticket.com.tw