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Born in Detroit and raised in Denver, Reeves was discovered by trumpet legend Clark Terry when she was just 17. After stints with Sergio Mendes and Harry Belafonte, who introduced her to the rhythms of West Africa and the West Indies, she started to incorporate African and Latin influences into her music. Criticized at times by jazz purists, Reeves' inherent understanding of cultural references, and her mastery of improvisational techniques, works to her advantage. On Quiet After the Storm, whether she's exploring childhood memories ("Nine") or experimenting with classic pop tunes (a beautiful cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now"), Reeves succeeds at whatever musical category she chooses to interpret.

"Comes Love (Nothing Can Be Done)" uses a breezy, slowed-down mode to highlight her mellow sensuality. "Jive Samba/The Benediction (Country Preacher)" is a moving tribute to Julian "Cannonball" Adderley. The imagery creates an affectionate acknowledgment of "a teacher, historian." (***)

Carmen Lundy is another multifaceted performer who pulls her experiences as a painter, producer, actor and composer together to influence her subtly textured vocals. After three albums on small, obscure labels, Lundy is finally getting the push she deserves with Self Portrait on JVC Music.

The Florida native discovered jazz while a student at the University of Miami. After a childhood filled with Aretha Franklin records, jazz seemed the logical next step. Now based in Los Angeles, Lundy has toured extensively in New York, Europe and Japan.

Self Portrait explores the universal themes of love, trust and betrayal. Lundy focuses on the acoustic power of jazz, and the romance and intimacy it inspires. From the sheer elegance of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," which opens the album, to the austere passion of "'Round Midnight," which closes it, we hear a woman who sings from the heart.

A sophisticated set with a strong traditional flavor, Self Portrait has pop tendencies as well. "Pop," in this case, refers to the way an artist such as Tony Bennett appeals to a wide range of listeners with a timeless repertoire. Lundy's vocal grace goes far in establishing a place for her among the next generation of jazz icons. (****)

-- Marlynn Snyder

Legend

***** Billie Holiday swoons
**** Billie Holiday feels jealous
*** Billie Holiday pays attention
** Billie Holiday yawns
* Billie Holiday checks what's in the fridge

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