The DIVA Jazz Trio: Never Never Land (2010)
The group's choice of music is as inclusive as it is entertaining. After opening with a happy-go-lucky version of Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg's "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz, the trio puts a sunny Latin spin on Chopin's graceful "Piano Nocturne No. 6" before addressing exemplary compositions by Horace Silver(the high-octane "Virgo"), Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Fats Domino (yes, Fats Domino) and Cole Porter, plus Betty Comden/Adolph Green's wistful title selection from Peter Pan. Lerner and Loewe contribute "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" and "I Could Have Danced All Night," Rodgers and Hammerstein "My Favorite Things" and "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," and Porter the venerable "Love for Sale." If Domino/Dave Bartholomew's "I'm Walkin'" seems somewhat out of place among those celebrated standards, the trio makes it hum like a high-grade Swiss watch.
Besides working extremely well together, each member of the group is a first-class soloist, an appraisal that is borne out whenever one of them has the floor, while Maricle excels with brushes or sticks, providing taut and tasteful support in every circumstance. Ohno has impeccable technique, swings in every context, and shows she's not only able but eager to roll up her sleeves and get down and dirty on "I'm Walkin.'" As for Ueda, she does far more than simply orchestrate the tempoeven though she's a steady and invaluable time-keeper. She and her teammates make Never Never Land a delightful introductory cruise by three remarkably talented young women.
Track Listing: If I Only Had a Brain; Piano Nocturne #6, Op. 09, No. 2; Virgo; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; My Favorite Things; I Could Have Danced All Night / I Won't Dance; Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'; I'm Walkin'; Never Never Land; Love for Sale.
Personnel: Sherrie Maricle: drums; Tomoko Ohno: piano; Noriko Ueda: bass.
Record Label: Arbors Records