Chuck Chellman
Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society Inc.

This is a CD that many of us have waited for. Most of the jazz buffs in the Mid South know the work of Diane Marino and husband-bassist, Frank. They do good work at any venue, large or small. The talent lies within this couple to satisfy music lovers of all types. The players on this project are all top jazz musicians. Diane is a strong pianist and vocalist. The couple has played so much together; Frank uses his bass on every tune like he and Diane are breathing together. Stalwart drummer Chris Brown does his usual wonderful work to push the tempos along. Rusty Jessup fills out the quartet. In the opinion of this writer, Rusty Jessup is the most underrated reed player in the area. His work on “Sister Sadie” would sure make composer Horace Silver proud.

To me, the selection of tunes and the interpretation of the jazz evergreens make this a very commercial product. They are playing songs we all know and love (and buy). Diane’s vocal on “You Don’t Know What Love Is” is very sensitive, yet strong. Hearing Harold Arlen’s “A Sleepin’ Bee” is a pure delight, especially with the tempo she has chosen. Usually heard as a ballad, Diane, Frank and Chris use a solid medium swing tempo that is really appealing. Frank Marino plays the bass solo in a masterful, cookin’ way, followed by Rusty’s tasty tenor solo. We don’t hear enough of this song at present. Now we know why it is the title cut. It is a very hip and solid rendition. Along with the standard jazz tunes, we have the chance to hear three wonderful Brazilian cuts that take this album out of the normal things you hear and purchase. It is a neat shifting of gears for the quartet and listener…Need a Charlie Parker tune? It is here in “My Little Suede Shoes”. Need a Miles Davis tune? “All Blues” is here in the coolest version I’ve heard so far. Diane’s piano work is really strong here, especially with her solid left hand. She turns it over to Rusty. Chris does a good drum solo, also. Lotsa soulful playing on this cut, just like all the others. Buy the CD (website). Then you can hear great renditions of “Angel Eyes”, Benny Golson’s “Killer Joe”, done in an unusual Latin treatment, and others. This album really makes jazz freaks like me appreciate the talent here in the area. Catch this group. You can give your date a good lesson in what Jazz is supposed to mean. I learned a little today.