Ken Franckling weighs in on FIVE PLAY’s new album Live From the Firehouse Stage

by Ken Franckling

Five Play, Live From the Firehouse Stage (5Play) 

One of the fine offshoots of drummer Sherrie Maricle’s all-woman big band DIVA is the smaller ensembles drawn from its orchestra members. Such is the case with Five Play, a swinging, bopping quintet whose members have been working together for more than a decade. They include Maricle, pianist Tomoko Ohno, bassist Noriko Ueda, trumpeter Jami Dauber and saxophonist Janelle Reichman. This live session last October caught them in top form at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City, NY. There are three covers: Duke Ellington’s “Just Squeeze Me,” Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Nancy with the Laughing Face” and Jimmy McHugh’s “I Can’t Give You Everything But Love.” The rest are very, very fine originals. Favorite track: Five Play’s world-premiere performance of Ueda’s elegant gem “Uneven Pieces.”

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