WHLI Radio - Long Island, NY
Review by Paul Richards, Program Director
July 12, 2008

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.