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33
Album Review

Diva Jazz Orchestra: "30": Live at Dizzy's Club

Read ""30": Live at Dizzy's Club" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The “30" in the title of the superlative all-woman Diva Jazz Orchestra's latest album stands for 30 years, which, believe it or not, is how long the orchestra and its remarkable drummer and leader, Sherrie Maricle, have been up and running and making beautiful music at home and abroad. Among U.S.-based big bands, it would seem that only Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Woody Herman have had longer runs than that. Fast company indeed. So is Diva ready for comparisons? ...

34
Album Review

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: Swings Broadway

Read "Swings Broadway" reviewed by Jack Bowers


At the ripe old age of thirty (closer to a hundred in big-band years), the superlative New York-based, all-female DIVA Jazz Orchestra remains as frisky as a newborn colt, swinging up, down and around Broadway with abandon on its thirteenth album, a brisk and colorful tribute to the Great White Way that shines brightly from start to finish. The album opens and closes in a mid-1950s vein, raising the curtain with Steven Feifke's breezy, well-grooved arrangement of ...

4
Album Review

3Divas: 3Divas

Read "3Divas" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


The DIVA Jazz Orchestra has been around for some years but this is a first time recording for its current rhythm section, Jackie Warren on piano, Amy Shook on bass and DIVA's founder and leader, Sherrie Maricle on drums. The immediate impression from this CD is that these women have a great time playing together. They perform a collection of songs out of the pop standard, country and rock worlds with a really infectious joy. The opener, “Beautiful ...

7
Album Review

3Divas: 3Divas

Read "3Divas" reviewed by Geannine Reid


Sherrie Maricle is the leader and drummer for The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, FIVE PLAY, and The DIVA Jazz Trio, co-leader of the 3Divas, percussionist with The New York Pops, and a published composer/arranger. The other 2Ds of the 3Divas are pianist Jackie Warren and bassist Amy Shook. Warren is known for her abilities in jazz, Latin jazz, and salsa. She currently performs with Maurice Hines' Off-Broadway hit Tappin' Thru Life with Maricle and The DIVA Jazz Orchestra. Warren also leads ...

5
Album Review

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: Special Kay!

Read "Special Kay!" reviewed by Jack Bowers


WOW! No, it is definitely not advisable to open a review with an unequivocal superlative (for one thing, it sort of gives the game away, doesn't it?). But on Special Kay!, its ninth impressive album in twenty-four years, DIVA--the gold standard among all-female big bands since its inception--really gives a commentator no reasonable choice. Simply put, this is a mind-blowing live performance at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek, NY, that electrifies and satisfies from ...

111
Album Review

Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra: Live in Concert

Read "Live in Concert" reviewed by Jack Bowers


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 ...

93
Album Review

Sherrie Maricle and DIVA: I Believe in You

Read "I Believe in You" reviewed by Jack Bowers


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 ...

114
Album Review

Suzanne Grzanna: Fly Me to the Moon

Read "Fly Me to the Moon" reviewed by Jack Bowers


According to the sleeve notes on Fly Me to the Moon, Milwaukee--based Suzanne Grzanna has a growing list of admirers. Wish I could count myself among them, but she'll have to produce something far more persuasive than this before that happens. Grzanna doubles on vocals and alto sax, and needs a lot of work in both areas. On this recording she's easily outdistanced by her sidemen, especially pianist Hazeltine. Grzanna sings on half a dozen selections, uncloaking a quavering, little--girl ...

157
Album Review

Morgonn: What We See

Read "What We See" reviewed by Jim Santella


Singer Morgonn Ewen wrote half these songs on her recording and co-wrote two others. They're interesting tales and commentary on the way things are: “Stifled" tells of the inadequacies we sometimes feel when we're unable to express our true feelings. “Ma Bella Gina" rolls on lightly, putting a smile on your face. “Crazy II" is everyman's theme about the daily routine and how we live it without goin' off the deep end.

“Marlow" comes out of film noir with drama, ...


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