The Basie album took [Diane Schuur] further into jazz, featuring up-tempo swing like Billie Holiday's Travelin' Light and Deedles' Blues, written especially for her by Basie band front man Frank Foster. Both songs showcase Schuur's confident falsetto leaps and lusty scat.
Schuur says she doesn't worry about slighting hard-core jazz fans with ventures into other genres. ``It's time to move in a bit of a different direction, but not to an extreme. I know how to keep that balance in line and I think I can cross into both (jazz and pop) markets. There's a way to do it tastefully. Believe me, it'll be class.''
Schuur, 34, has struggled for years, and compares her recent success to ``living a dream.'' The dream includes her Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra LP sticking at No. 1 on the Billboard jazz chart for the past 17 weeks. She's Johnny Carson's anointed favorite with six Tonight Show appearances - ``I guess he likes me, last time he came over and hugged me'' - and Peter Allen wants her on his next album.
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