Diane Marino - Just Groovin’
"Just Groovin'", the latest album by Diane Marino is the kind of
project that if those involved are not extra careful, could easily
fall flat on its face. Thankfully, that is not the case here. Far
from it in fact. It succeeds at every level. It's a collection of a
dozen 1960s classic songs. That concept in and of itself is not new.
It's been done before. Most recently by Frankie Valli and Barry
Manilow. But this album is a horse of a different color entirely. It
is obvious what Diane and her team set out to do. And that is
to record these songs not in the traditional styles for which they
were intended, but to "smooth jazz-a-size" them. Risky to say the
least. It's not enough to simply say "here's what we're gonna do"
and go in there and slap something together. You really have to be
able to execute this kind of plan to perfection. And that's what's
been done here. Attention to detail has been paid in spades with
regard to every aspect of this recording. Right down to the chirping
birds at the end of "Groovin", a duet Diane does with none other
than Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals who had the original hit with
it. Wanna feel wonderful? And for no particular reason whatsoever?
Just take a listen to "The Warmth Of The Sun", the old Beach Boys
classic. Everyone of the selections on this album can stand
completely on their own as great pieces of music. But as a
whole, the album becomes bigger than life. It's one of those albums
you listen to in its entirety, then turn right around and play
again. It's that good. And if I had to pick three reasons why, I'd
have to say the vocals obviously, which are handled ever so
professionally and beautifully by Diane Marino, the out of this
world arrangements and orchestrations that you have to hear to
believe, and the band itself which plays throughout this album as if
it's the last time they'll ever be in a recording studio. These guys
are on fire. Throw in very slick production too. Yes, the sound
quality of the disc is heavenly. All in all, "Just Groovin'" is an
utterly enjoyable endeavor from start to finish.