When you hear the concept of Diane Marino's brand new album "Just
Groovin' " - a reworking of 60s pop tunes in a jazz setting - some
folks might get visions of Bill Murray's lounge singer on Saturday
Night Live singing the theme from Star Wars. Thankfully, that isn't
The definition of a standard is a popular song that has been
recorded or sung generation after generation - a song that is well
written and continues to convey an emotion or idea to a new
audience. When you think of "standards" - names like Johnny Mercer,
Sammy Kahn or Cole Porter come to mind, right? Well, I doubt
that any of these gentlemen were concerned whether people in the
21st century would still sing their ditties. They were creating the
popular music of the day. The real importance to them was if their
latest effort would sell copies of the sheet music and/or record or
be the show-stopping tune that patrons would leave the theater
humming and wanting more!
So, it makes perfect sense that the tunesmiths of the 1960s like
Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Burt
Bacharach & Hal David and Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati should
help form the basis for this new collection of "standards". After
all, was the team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney any less a
musical force in their time than, say, George and Ira Gershwin?
Which brings us to Diane Marino's brand new CD. Rather than mere
"covers" of these songs, Ms. Marino offers brilliant
re-interpretations of pop standards. Listening to the pre-release
copy again in my car yesterday, I was struck by how these songs
sounded fresh and how they could have just as easily been the same
monster hits with these new arrangements.
The "single" on this album is Diane's duet with Felix Cavaliere
singing his signature Rascals tune "Groovin'". The fact that he
also performs the song with the legendary Hammond B-3 organ makes it
perfect. It loses nothing from the original in my ears and I've
listened to that one cut at least 20 times in the past week. (I
make no apologies - it's what I do).
Born in the borough of Queens, NY; Diane calls Nashville home these
days and with that address has access to top quality musicians
and production facilities. Solo performances by jazz notables Kirk
Whalum (tenor/soprano sax), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone) and Houston
Person (tenor sax) bring big-name appeal to the effort.
Diane Marino has had success in the jazz category with her previous
efforts "A Sleeping Bee" (2003) and "On The Street Where You Live"
(2004). Both charted on the jazz charts and won her praise with
reviewers and listeners. Now, she needs to bring "Just Groovin'" to
the attention of the mainstream adult contemporary radio
programmers. This just might be how some of these classic,
chart-topping hits find their way back to the Billboard Hot 100.
We're doing our part - you can hear Diane Marino right here on The