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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Johnny Mandel Featuring Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra: The Man and His Music: Johnny Mandel Conducts the Music of Mandel

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In May, 2010, legendary composer/arranger Johnny Mandel performed three evenings with the all-female DIVA Jazz Orchestra at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, immaculately preserved in this release. In this rare appearance in his native Manhattan, the Los Angeles-based Mandel returned decidedly to his big band roots, which included service in brass sections, more than five decades ago, with Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Rich and Count Basie, amongst others. He also demonstrates that his musical genius remains undiminished, engaging in genial musical descriptions between all the tracks. Mandel launches the program with his “Low Life," a swinger he contributed to the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Diva Jazz Orchestra and Johnny Mandel at Dizzy's Club, NYC

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Diva Jazz Orchestra Dizzy's Club Coca Cola New York, New York May 26, 2010

While The Diva Jazz Orchestra often gets press that relates to their status as an all-female big band, gender is irrelevant when discussing their musical acumen. Drummer Sherrie Maricle and company have proven themselves time and time again-- with ample demonstrations of taste, talent and chops to spare--on recordings and in live settings. This particular set was part of a three-night residency celebrating the music of Johnny Mandel. The man himself--who happened to be the only man on the bandstand--was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The DIVA Jazz Trio: Never Never Land

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About the nicest compliment one can pay the DIVA Jazz Trio's debut recording, Never Never Land, is that the threesome's irrepressible enthusiasm and energy (not to mention their consonance and artistry) are reminiscent of the great Oscar Peterson's classic trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. Pianist Tomoko Ohno isn't Peterson, nor does she try to be, but she dwells in the same exalted realm, while bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Sherrie Maricle offer stalwart impressions of Brown and Thigpen. If the trio's accord seems remarkable, a part of the reason lies in the fact that it doubles ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diva Jazz Trio: Never Never Land

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Since its beginnings in 1992, drummer Sherry Maricle's Diva Jazz Orchestra has evolved into one of the best big bands in the world. An all-female multicultural orchestra, it produces some of the most joyful big band music around and nurtures powerful and creative mainstream instrumentalists. A spinoff quintet, Five Play, showcases these instrumentalists in a more intimate setting but it is Diva's rhythm section that allows for continued creativity in a genre that can be sorely lacking in such. It is surprising then that Maricle, along with bassist Tomoko Ohno and pianist Noriko Ueda, had not yet recorded together as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

MIDIval PunditZ: Hello Hello

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On Hello Hello, the fusion of Western electronic music with the traditional and folk music of India, synthesized by the New Delhi-based instrumental and production team of Guarav Raina and Tapan Raj, sounds nearly complete.

Built from Indian percussion, string, vocal and melodic traditions, and strung together like decorative lights with electronic samples, loops, and beats, Hello Hello crosses over world cultures and historical epochs. One tune sets a 19th century poem in a 21st century dance club mix; another updates a traditional Indian love song with modern U2 guitar electronics; yet another rips through a Led Zeppelin ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Present TNT; The Monk's Progress; Trumpet Madness

Jazz has been a variegated entity practically from its first note and a trio of new releases in the orchestral genre exemplifies this diversity, which recalls a line from the Wallace Stevens' poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird : “I was of three minds/Like a tree/In which there are three blackbirds.

Sherrie Maricle/DIVA Jazz Orchestra Present TNT: A Tommy Newsom Tribute Lightyear 2005

In addition to being one of Johnny Carson's favorite foils, Tonight Show bandleader Tommy Newsom was a talented composer and arranger. Drummer Sherrie Maricle and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: TNT: A Tommy Newsom Tribute

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TNT is the fifth album by the explosive New York-based all-female DIVA Jazz Orchestra, blending a contemporary mainstream big band sound with a progressive flavor. Founded by a former relief drummer for the Buddy Rich Big Band, Stanley Kay, the fifteen piece big band has been under the direction of bandleader/drummer Dr. Sherrie Maricle for the last several years. Whether in the studio or in concert, the group has drawn critical acclaim for its play.

This record is a tribute to composer/arranger Tommy Newsom, who provided all of the arrangements and two original charts. “Titter Pipes," the opening ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: T.N.T

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I first heard DIVA more than ten years ago, and it was love at first note. It was called “no man's band" then, as if there were something to prove, but that's no longer necessary. DIVA has shown time and again that it can stand toe-to-toe and slug it out with any band anywhere. My admiration has grown deeper as the band has continued its upward course, producing a series of highly impressive albums, the most recent of which is this marvelous tribute to composer/arranger/saxophonist Tommy Newsom, late of the Tonight Show band and a steadfast DIVA supporter since its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra: Live in Concert

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As I've mentioned before, my brother Tom swears he can tell the difference between male and female jazz musicians, especially in big bands. To test his ability to do so, I cobbled together a CD comprised of selections from the DIVA Jazz Orchestra's first three albums, slapped a fictitious male name on the label and sent it to him. Several months have passed and he hasn't figured it out yet. But I shouldn't be too hard on my brother--with eyes closed, I couldn't separate DIVA from its male counterparts either. To those who appreciate a strapping big band whose strong ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sherrie Maricle and DIVA: I Believe in You

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Diva, according to Webster, is the female derivation of the Latin word divus — in English, “divine” — which is as accurate a term as any to use when describing drummer Sherrie Maricle’s high–powered New York–based big band whose third recording, I Believe in You, crackles with the sort of energy and passion inspired by Maricle’s peerless role model, the late Buddy Rich. When I first heard DIVA a number of years ago the band was quite good; today, in spite of the unavoidable changes in personnel, it is even better. Staying together and rehearsing regularly enriches any band, and ...



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