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Jazz Goes Country on Schuur's 'The Gathering'

Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Diane Schuur.

Grammy-winning jazz singer Diane Schuur takes a country turn on her latest album, The Gathering.

Schuur has always had an ear for country music. In fact, her earliest recording was a country single titled “Dear Mommy and Daddy.” Schuur is once again in a Nashville state of mind, reviving the so-called “Countrypolitan” sound of the 1960s and ‘70s with classics by Hank Cochran, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, as well as the Roger Miller-Bill Anderson tune “When Two Worlds Collide.”

Of course, Schuur is first and foremost a jazz singer and pianist. Born blind, she grew up listening to her father’s jazz record collection, which included the music of Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington. By age 10, she was singing professionally at a hotel in her hometown of Tacoma, Washington.

Jazz Goes Country on Schuur's 'The Gathering'
Jazz Goes Country on Schuur's 'The Gathering'
Next up was her performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival and then a nationally televised concert at The White House. She made her major label debut in 1984 with the album Deedles. Over the years, she recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra, B.B. King and Maynard Ferguson, and toured the world with Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. In the 1980s, she won back-to-back Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Female.

Schuur teams up with guitarist Larry Carlton on Merle Haggard’s on “Today I Started Loving You Again.”

Also featured on The Gathering are Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler and Kirk Whalum.

Later in September, Diane Schuur will perform a series of concerts called a “Celebration of Lionel Hampton” in Colorado, Texas, Minnesota and Michigan.