Sherrie Maricle and Diva: I Believe in You

Diva is a well-balanced, contemporary big band that performs with precision a diverse repertory by such arrangers as Scott Whitfield, Michael Abene, John McNeil, Ellen Rowe and Tommy Newsom. The tunes on this thoroughly satisfying recording, their third, include a medley of songs associated with Ella Fitzgerald; an unexpected, but appealing, rubato arrangement by Abene of the normally jaunty “Happy Days Are Here Again;” a blazing Flip Phillips-composed chart on “rhythm” changes; and six other complementary tracks. The band swings like mad and the soloists-some of them veterans of groups like the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Toshiko, and Doc Severinsen bands-are consistently top caliber.