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Diane Schuur Pays Tribute to Jazz Roots on 'Some Other Time'

In the music world, it's often said, "What goes around comes around." As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, that phrase rang true for Grammy-winning vocalist Diane Schuur, who pays tribute to her jazz roots on her latest album, Some Other Time.

Had it not been for the great jazz records she heard while growing up, Diane Schuur might have opted for a career as a pop singer. With The Beatles and Motown all the rage during Diane's impressionable teen years, it was natural for her to want to become the next Janis Joplin or Diana Ross.

But there was something about the music of her parents' generation that steered her towards jazz. No doubt, the lyrics, the arrangement and the execution of an enduring jazz standard made all the difference in her decision to become a jazz singer and pianist.

Diane was born blind but it was never an obstacle. She made her professional debut at age nine, and shortly after graduating from high school, recorded her first song, a country single titled "Dear Mommy And Daddy."

It wasn't long before she was back to singing and playing jazz. An audition with trumpeter Doc Severinson led to her first appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival. In the audience was legendary saxophonist Stan Getz, who was so impressed with the young singer, he invited her to perform with him on a national television broadcast from the White House. Diane's jazz career was in full swing.

Diane Schuur is at her best singing classic jazz. On Some Other Time, Diane revives more than a dozen tunes from the Great American Songbook, including Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies."

Songs by George and Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rogers, Sammy Cahn and Vernon Duke are also featured, as well as a version of "September In The Rain" recorded in 1964 by a 10-year-old Diane for guests at a hotel in her hometown of Tacoma, Washington.

In support of her new album, Diane Schuur will be performing in March in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Moscow.