BMAN’S BLUES REPORT
I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, DIVA Swings Broadway, from the DIVA Jazz Orchestra and it’s power horns to the max. Opening with Heart, there’s no question that this band is loaded with brass lead by Liesi Whitaker, Jami Dauber, Rachel Therrien and Barbara Laronga on trumpet/flugelhorn and Jennifer Krupa, Sara Jacovino and Leslie Havens (bass) on trombone. Band leader, Sherrie Maricle on drums, Noriko Ueda on bass, Tomoko Ohno on piano hold down the bottom and Alexa Tarantino (also flute), Mercedes Beckman (also flute), Roxy Coss (also clarinet), Laura Dreyer (also clarinet) and Leigh Pilzer (bari, bass clarinet, flute and clarinet) on sax fill out the woodwinds sections. Coss on tenor sax, Dauber on trumpet and Krupa on trombone lay in nice solos making this opener memorable. Ueda is featured on bass solo on The Man I Love with a really nice intro and substantive soloing throughout over the piano counter of Ohno on piano and punchy horns filling out the accents. This is my favorite track on the release featuring this exceptional play. Nicely balanced horns and woodwinds play the melody on Oh What A Beautiful Morning, over the supple improvisation by Ohno on piano. With a Latin rhythm held tight by Maricle, Therrien on flugelhorn and Dreyer on sax each contribute solid solos of their own making this another of my favorites on the release. Ohno, Laronga and Tarantino get the spotlight on Love Who You Love with a really nice flugelhorn solo by laronga, and extremely tasty soprano sax solo by Tarantino and Ohno’s clearly fluid piano work. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Get Me To The Church On Time with a really cool stair stepping of instruments giving the sense of chiming. Maricle really has the drumset on point and Beckman and Tarantino again play alto solos that will lay you back in your chair. Excellent closer for a sneaky great release.