by Tom Haugen
DIVA Swings Broadway
A 15 person ensemble spearheaded by the drummer Sherrie Maricle, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra bring us their big band prowess to a handful of reimagined arrangements of Broadway classics that we’ve never heard quite like this.
“Heart” opens the listen with Roxy Coss’ tenor sax, Jami Dauber’s trumpet and Jennifer Krupa’s trombone making a big impression in the warm jazz climate, and “Pure Imagination” follows with soft keys aligning with the soulful horns, as Annette Aguilar’s frisky percussion certainly impresses.
Elsewhere, “The Sound Of Music”pairs strategic bass with warm keys, where Leigh Pilzer’s baritone sax solo alone is worth the price of admission, while “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’” emits plenty of mature melody and playful instrumentation into the album highlight.
Advancing towards the end, “Love Who You Love” enters ballad territory with its gentle flugelhorn courtesy of Barbara Laronga and Alexa Tarantino’s moody baritone sax, and “Get Me To The Church On Time” exits with exciting and busy textures that mash the brass and drums into a busy, absorbing finish.
A powerful, creative and timeless display of exceptional talent and a unique vision, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra carry on their tradition of nostalgic and contemporary jazz sounds that we will never tire of.