The all-female jazz orchestra Diva (which has the subtitle of No Man's Band) makes their recording debut on this CD from Perfect Sound. Headed by drummer Sherri Maricle (whose Buddy Rich-inspired style had been previously featured on Stash), the 15-piece big band has arrangements by Maricle, Michael Abene, John LaBarbera, and Tommy Newsome. The charts are generally fairly conventional (with "Caravan," "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead," and "Something's Coming" being the most colorful), but the clean ensembles, hard-swinging rhythm section, and many talented soloists make Diva stand out from the crowd. Trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew are best known among the players and they have their spots, but the main stars of this disc are altoists Sue Terry and Carol Chaikin. Chaikin's soulful rendition of "If I Should Lose You" and Terry's intense interpretation of "My Favorite Things" are among the high points. Also notable are a driving "You Stepped out of a Dream," "Three Sisters and a Cousin" (which has Terry, Chiakin, and Mayhew all soloing on alto), and a tasteful version of "Stardust." It's recommended for big band fans.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow