DIVA Swings Broadway
Styles: Big BandVisit Artist/Band Website
I’ve reviewed a couple projects from the 3D Jazz Trio in the past, but I’ve never weighed in on the full DIVA Jazz Orchestra led by drummer Sherrie Maricle who keeps very busy as a New York-based performer, composer, arranger and educator. All 15 talented, versatile women in The Diva Jazz Orchestra bring a multitude of musical skills to the collective table. Passionately swinging hits from nine Broadway musicals, dating from 1943 to 2014, the big band reflects what is in their hearts — spirited arrangements, some from band members, both sympathetic and sprightly refreshing.
There’s clearly a cohesive team effort, complemented by a gentle, alluring intelligence in support of the stellar soloists on sax, clarinet, trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, bass, piano, drums or percussion. Fresh insights on “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning,” “The Sound of Music” and “Pure Imagination” make for enchanting presentations beaming with personality from the likes of Jami Dauber’s or Rachel Therrien’s flugelhorn, Laura Dreyer’s or Roxy Coss’ tenor sax, Leigh Pilzer’s baritone sax, Tomoko Ohno’s piano, and more. “Seventy-Six Trombones” is a real showpiece for that section featuring Jennifer Krupa, Sara Jacovino and Leslie Haven. Inspired by this Orchestra, perhaps someone now needs to compose a musical called The Music Women, or maybe a sequel to the movie, Some Like it Hot.
The DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s rendition of “Every Breath I Take” (from City of Angels, 1989) and “Love Who You Love” (from A Man of No Importance, 2002) convey graceful presence, while “Get Me to the Church on Time” (from My Fair Lady, 1956) closes up a very happy, upbeat perspective built around statements from Mercedes Beckman and Alexa Tarantino’s alto sax and Sherrie Maricle’s drum kit. Together, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra takes center stage with an effervescent big band style full of artistic expression. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)