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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: 25th Anniversary Project

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A 25th Anniversary is a rare event in today's music world, and Sherrie Maricle the leader and driving force behind the DIVA Jazz Orchestra has achieved just that. A vehicle for some of today's most recognized names in jazz, this Orchestra goes beyond the label of an all-female ensemble, it is more about the achievements and heights of each of its players, as a collective sound and a force of significant women who have worked hard for each of their ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Diva Jazz Orchestra: 25th Anniversary Project

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The Diva Orchestra, with its vibrant sound and stellar soloists, is one of the premier large ensembles in jazz today. It also happens to be one of the few made up entirely of women. Therefore, it is both a creative hot bed for talented musicians and a forum for female instrumentalists, who remain sorely underexposed, to express themselves. The 25th Anniversary Project is an intriguing set of ten originals by various members of band that highlights their inventive and imaginative ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

3Divas: 3Divas

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

3Divas: 3Divas

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra: Special Kay!

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

DIVA: A Swingin' Life

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As if being the premier all-female big band on the planet weren't enough, DIVA has enlisted the services of two purebred divas--Nancy Wilson and Marlena Shaw--to enrich its latest album, A Swingin' Life, recorded live at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (November 2011) and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center (September 2012). Wilson and Shaw are more than window dressing, giving their all on five of the album's eleven numbers. Wilson brings out the best in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diva: A Swingin' Life

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Back in 1967, Buddy Rich was one of the headliners on a summer replacement television broadcast for “The Jackie Gleason Show." If I remember correctly, the show's theme, which Rich and the band did was “Away We Go." It was subsequently released on a Pacific Jazz record The New One. Why is it that the opening track on Diva's most recent recording A Swingin' Life reminds me of that recording? It's not because Sherrie Maricle is in the Buddy Rich ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diva: A Swingin' Life

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What do you get when you have fifteen talented and swinging female jazz musicians in an orchestral setting? The answer, drummer Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra offering A Swingin' Life as proof that hard-charging big band music is not the exclusivity of the male gender. Building upon the work of more than a dozen previous albums, DIVA presents music from the Great American Songbook and more, capturing eleven audacious tracks recorded live by Jazz at Lincoln Center at ...

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 ...

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 ...