Dianne Reeves, possibly the greatest living jazz singer today, is a storyteller at heart. ‘Better Days’ from Reeves’ album, Welcome to my Love, is a touching story about a child finding comfort and wisdom in the words of her grandmother. In the song’s refrain: You can’t get to no better days/Unless you make it through the night, listeners are transported (like the child) by the grandmother’s stories. I’ve now had the pleasure of hearing Reeves sing this song live on stage. “My Grandma took me everywhere” Reeves sings, varying the song with improvisation, as all good storytellers do, depending on the context in which she sings it. This has become my go-to song when celebrating some milestone with my writing.
Great stories take us everywhere. And if they’re really good, they lift right off the page like music.
Released on Dianne Reeves, Blue Note, 1987. Listen to it online here