“The great jazz vocalist provides audiences a special joy and inspiration, even though they know that their excellence will seldom get the widespread publicity or commercial rewards of lesser talented singers operating in the pop sphere. Instead, they seek fresh ways of performing the tunes that have shaped the American popular song canon. They also know that every time out their renditions of these anthems will be compared to others who’ve come before them and their abilities to find fresh ways of covering these numbers will be assessed in a tough manner by both critics and fans.
Ms. Marino is a superb singer, pianist and arranger! She’s equally at home with up-tempo or ballad pieces, and over her multi-decade career has easily moved from swing-oriented mainstream fare to Afro-Latin and Brazilian romps, show tunes, blues & R&B, even covers of recent rock and pop hits. She presents jazz that is timeless and contemporary, polished, yet exuberant and soulful.
It’s to no surprise that her newest album “I Hear Music” is a triumph, filled with consistently memorable and exciting selections containing numerous examples of vocal and instrumental splendor but the menu for “I Hear Music” is predominantly classic jazz and swing-oriented tunes.
While every tune is a delight, some personal favorites include the title track, Diane Marino’s treatments of “The Late, Late Show,” quite different from Dakota Stanton’s but just as wonderful, the delightful version of “When Lights Are Low” and two other numbers whose approaches couldn’t be more dissimilar. “Let Me Off Uptown” is an R&B/swing staple, a tune that calls for a vibrant and suggestive approach, while “It Could Happen To You” is more of a wish/dream fulfillment effort. Diane Marino does both majestically, striking the ideal mood both times and turning them into definitive, highly personal versions.
“I Hear Music” will no doubt be one of the finest jazz albums issued by anyone this year and I believe the jazz world at large will recognize the immense talents of Diane Marino and acknowledge that she belongs in the upper echelon of jazz singers.”
… RON WYNN
Listen for this track currently in rotation: smoothjazznola.com