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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Diva Jazz Orchestra: 25th Anniversary Project

Read "25th Anniversary Project" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

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 ...

A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!

Read "A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 23, Betty and I flew to jny: Los Angeles to attend the L.A. Jazz Institute's semi-annual ode to swinging, this one labeled Big Band Spectacular and slated for Thursday through Sunday, May 25-28. We rearranged our schedule to arrive a day early, even before Wednesday's “bonus" event, to attend the funeral of a longtime ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

MCG Jazz does Christmas: New Holiday Releases From Ann Hampton Callaway and the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra

Read "MCG Jazz does Christmas:  New Holiday Releases From Ann Hampton Callaway and the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The inevitability of new Christmas albums often fills jazz journalists with dread. And while some may assume it's because we're a cynical breed with unreasonable standards and upturned noses, that couldn't be further from the truth (in most cases). The reason jazz journalists approach new Christmas albums with caution is simple: the number of slipshod, hastily-produced, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Five Play: Live at the Deer Head Inn

Read "Live at the Deer Head Inn" reviewed by Richard  J Salvucci

I haven't been to the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania in years. But if I make it there, I hope to time my visit to coincide with Five Play at theDeer Head Inn, which bills itself as the “oldest continuously running jazz club in the country." Long may it prosper, for there are good musical things ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Notable and Nearly Missed 2014

Read "Notable and Nearly Missed 2014" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

As I have grown older, I have come to the startling and disheartening realization that I will not be able to read all the books there are, and, more importantly, listen to all the music there is (much less write about it). I otherwise appreciate a finite lifespan, but not when it comes to books and ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

DIVA: A Swingin' Life

Read "A Swingin' Life" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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).

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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diva: A Swingin' Life

Read "A Swingin' Life" reviewed by Edward Blanco

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 ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Janelle Reichman: Middleground

Read "Middleground" reviewed by Jack Bowers

It's a pity that someone as conspicuously talented as Janelle Reichman couldn't prompt at least one bona fide record label to release her remarkable debut, Middleground. But that's emblematic of today's music biz: without a name, talent simply doesn't cut it. While the other members of Reichman's quintet are also nameless--or may as well be--they are ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Big Band Jazz: It's Not Just for Guys Anymore

Read "Big Band Jazz: It's Not Just for Guys Anymore" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the early '90s, Stanley Kay, one-time back-up drummer for the incomparable Buddy Rich, later a manager of such artists as Maurice Hines, Michelle Lee and Paul Burke and the entertainment director for the New York Yankees, had a good idea: the time had come, he reasoned, to assemble an all-woman big band that would ...