Every now and then God sends a soul to earth that never fully leaves His Presence. Additionally, God sometimes blesses a human soul with extensive gifts and capabilities. One such soul as this is singer extraordinaire, Ms. Diane Reeves. Her music genius and ability to manipulate lyrical nuances, varied tones and range with her voice is nothing less than divine.
Ms. Reeves also encompasses a spiritual largesse that allows her to work with her ‘initiates’ lovingly and pleasingly. To see her in person is ‘church’, gospel. Her apparent joy in her work, and with life in general is woven into song-stories that reveal the real and true ‘her’ in the music.
Somewhere in the 90’s I saw her at the San Jose Jazz Festival in San Jose, California. She entranced the audience with her stories of parochial school and Catholicism. I knew she was not of this world when she shared how she used to talk to ‘Our Lady Mary’ as a child. I used to see and talk to spirit-beings as a child so I knew we were
Ms. Reeves also unabashedly demonstrates her fluency In the ‘tongues’ of Africa with her ‘scatting’ and verbal improvisations. For a time she seemed highly influenced by African traditional spiritualism and this has had a grounding effect on her work.
This Sunday morning I listened to a concert that Ms Reeves performed in Paris entitled “My Living Room in Paris” from 2011. It has often been a tradition of mine to afford myself a Sunday Morning ‘Jazz Brunch”. I chose to share today’s brunch with this gifted songstress and woman-healer that never disappoints.
Gone are the Afro, locks, kente strips and the other outer representations of Afrocentricity that Ms. Reeves used to display in the 90’s. Rather, Ms. Reeves was more reminiscent of a mature Sarah Vaughn or Ella Fitzgerald. And it would make sense that as she matures, Ms. Reeves would settle into the regal company of her jazz vocalist forbears, her African spirituality and roots being strongly affirmed. Ms. Reeves and her two guitar accompanists were extraordinary. She drifted through some lovely ballads and engaged an often reticent European audience in some good old ‘call and response’ singing.
She ended the concert invoking the Spirit of Love and exhorting her audience to participate and believe in this healing force. Ms. Reeves is indeed a global medicine woman. One who is committed not only to entertain, but to teach and heal and to open hearts. I am always honored to see her, to hear her and allow her to work her love miracles upon me.
For Linda Tauhid’s Journal