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  March 2008
"Jazz Monthly Feature Interview" Diane Schuur

diane schuurSmitty:  It gives me the greatest of pleasure to welcome one of the terrific singers of our time to She has a voice that glistens the spirit and warms the heart.  She has a great new record out.  It is called Some Other Time. I must say you must pick up this record because it is one of the best I’ve seen and heard, and I really think that this is gonna be one of the best albums of the year.  Please welcome Heads Up recording artist, the incredible and amazing Ms. Diane Schuur.  Diane, how are you, my friend?

Diane Schuur (DS):  Hi, Smitty.  How’s it going?  And you can call me Deedles.

Smitty:  I was gonna ask that question.  (Both laugh.)  Oh, great.  Deedles, it is so great to talk with you.  Oh, and I am so excited about this new record.  It is called Some Other Time and I must say I cannot put this album down.

DS:  (Laughs.)

Smitty:  There are so many memories, blessings, experiences.  Each song is an experience in itself.  I just love it.

DS:  Good.  Oh, I had so much fun doing the project, man.  We did it in Orange County, California, and what was so cool about this is I was able to go back home to what I call the Deedle/Rocket Pad ‘cause Rocket’s my husband, you know.

Smitty:  Yes.

DS:  I was able to, for those of you who are cat fanciers, I was able to cuddle up with the puss-pusses every night after doing a long session during the day, so that was really cool.

Smitty:  Yes. I know that you’re a great fan of Dinah Washington

DS:  Yeah.

Smitty:  --and you have so much history of listening to her music at a very young age.  Talk about what first grabbed you about her music when you heard her.

DS:  For me it was so unique in that you could—every single word that she uttered was crystal clear and enunciated so well and, of course, her style was so buoyant and with enthusiasm.  Even the blues that she sang….‘cause there’s different styles, like Billie Holiday has that very sad, haunting kind of flavor.  Dinah Washington did not, and there’s nothing wrong with either of the styles so it’s not a detriment at all, but Dinah’s style is just so classy and like the way that she would do “I Remember Clifford,” well, she would say “CLIF-FORD.”

Smitty:  Yeah.  (Both laugh.)

DS:  And I just loved her, and still do love her music, and like on the song “It’s Magic,” that was taken from two different sources.  Dinah Washington’s interpretation’s so wonderful and then I was able to hear Doris Day do it.  Mark, my manager, Mark Silag, sent me an mp3 of “It’s Magic” by Doris Day and I was actually able to listen to that, so it’s kind of like a mix of two completely different interpretations of that tune.

Smitty:  Yeah, that’s a great tune too.

DS:  Thank you.

Smitty:  And you just did so well with that and it just brought back so many memories.

DS:  Mm-hmm.

Smitty:  And your voice, it just captivates you when you hear it.  It’s sort of like the way you described Dinah Washington.

DS:  Yes.

Smitty:  That’s how we hear you.

DS:  Cool. (Laughs.)

Smitty:  Now, your parents were such an influence on you at an early age.

DS:  Yes.

Smitty:  Talk about what that influence meant to you and how that developed during your childhood.

DS:  Sure, well, we started getting stereo equipment when I was, oh, like seven or eight years old.  I remember getting—the first stereo equipment that we got was a combination Thomas organ and turntable, and my mom would get different albums.  She got the What A Difference A Day Makes album that Dinah Washington did.

Smitty:  Yes. Powerful album.

DS:  And the Unforgettable album that Dinah did and the After Hours that Sarah Vaughan did so beautifully and the In My Solitude album that Duke Ellington did so wonderfully and George Shearing, and I guess that’s just the ongoing influence of so many talented musicians that stayed with me and is staying with me up to this day.

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