Leave It to Diva

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A quick glance at the tune list on Diva's second album may lead one to believe that this is just a swing nostalgia date. After all, such songs as "Makin' Whoopie," "Begin the Beguine," "Them There Eyes," and "Air Mail Special" are in the repertoire. However, the arrangements are new (rather than being merely copies from the past), the interpretations are quite inventive, and each of the women in this 15-piece all-female big band are quite talented. Many soloists are heard from with some of the main stars being drummer/leader Sherrie Maricle, altoist Laura Dreyer, the tenors of Virginia Mayhew (showcased on "The Trolley Song" and "Once in a While") and Cynthia Mullis, and especially trumpeter Ingrid Jensen. This is a particularly strong set that easily exceeds one's expectations for the material, which also includes "Roll 'Em," "All of You," "Inka Dinka Doo," and "Abrasive to You" (an uptempo piece based on a familiar ballad) among others. Highly recommended to modern big-band fans, this set is quite memorable and enjoyable.

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