Grammy Award-winning vocalist Diane Schuur steers into a new direction on her latest album, "Schuur Fire." The cool-meets-combustive collection of Latin-tinged tunes with the Caribbean Jazz Project fe

Grammy Award-winning vocalist Diane Schuur steers into a new direction on her latest album, "Schuur Fire." The cool-meets-combustive collection of Latin-tinged tunes with the Caribbean Jazz Project features leader Dave Samuels on vibes/marimbas and Diego Urcola on trumpet/flugelhorn. Brazilian guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves produces and performs. While the concept of the Latinization of Schuur initially seems suspect, overall the experiment succeeds. Rather than do straight covers of new standards like James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" and Stevie Wonder's "As," Castro-Neves kindles the session with percussive arrangements that complement Schuur and CJP's strengths. The most unusual song selection is Schuur's buoyant rendition of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World," while the sunniest track is her samba-flavored take on Sergio Mendes' "Look Around." Less effective are the deliveries of Ivan Lins' "Confessions" and Cole Porter's "So in Love." While Schuur's in strong voice throughout, it's a stretch to dub her the first lady of jazz, as her label bio boasts.—DO

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