On her second album, singer-pianist Diane Marino presents eleven tracks of standards, jazz standards and five Brazilian-oriented selections. Her preference for the latter songs reflects her fluent Portuguese. These tunes are delivered with what sounds like a more Hispanic vocal and certainly has no affectations of American vocal versions of the same material. It would the difference between hearing Jobim being sung by Gal Costa and then by Joyce. Only "Once I Loved" is performed in English. "Toucans Dance," a Dori Caymmi composition, is given a lengthy Flora Purim vocalese intro followed by the lyrics.
There are several songs on which Marino alters the melody by intentionally singing in a lower register. On Bobby Timmons' classic, "Moanin'," every time that the title word is mentioned (at the end of alternate lines), it is sung more darkly than usual, thus changing the feel and texture of the song.
On the title song by Lerner and Lowe, the same occurs. For example, in the following quatrain
Are there lilac trees in the heart of town?
Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
Does enchantment pour out of every door?
No, it's just on the street where you live.
The emphasis changes on the words "heart," "lark," " of town," "enchantment," "every," and "street where you live," resulting in an entirely different tone from that suggested by Mssrs. Lerner & Lowe. It was the singer's intention to depict this tune as a sad song, using a "pedal tone re-harmonization and complementary melody line re-construction" by putting the emphasis on those words and "de-emphasizing the standard melody line." A lovely soprano sax solo by Mitch Reilly ensues.
On Gilbert Becaud's "What Now My Love" another minor alteration of one word in the title line had the same effect.Yet, on the Dorsey/Mertz standard, "I'm Glad There Was You," the vocal is delivered in a straight forward fashion. Apparently, it is the artist's intention to show that popular songs can be altered in meaning and texture by a fairly sophisticated use of harmonics, and while it serves to awaken different and new applications for oft-heard standards, my own preference is for the improvisation to follow the standard melody line, even though that would defeat Diane Marino's intent.
The combo gets an instrumental chance to shine on "Bernie's Tune" done up in a Latinized flavor, and the other supporting performances by the group are fine.
Personnel: Diane Marino, piano/vocals; Chris Brown, drums; Mitch Reilly, sax/flute; Frank Marino, bass.