Jazz The 3 Divas Way

Bruce Von Stiers

When I was growing up the term diva was mostly associated with opera singers. Later on, the term took on a whole new inference in pop culture. Both in good ways and bad.

I just listened to some music that features three women who consider themselves divas. And in a good way. In fact, the name of their trio is 3 Divas. Earlier this year they released their self-titled debut album.

The album features interesting arrangements of songs that are both part of the Great American Songbook and the pop music world.

The three women in 3 Divas are Sherrie Maricle, Jackie Warren and Amy Shook. Sherrie is the drummer for the trio. Besides this group, she's in another trio and is the leader for the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. Jackie is a pianist and leads her own trio. Jackie has played with such greats as Clark Terry. Amy is a much sought after bassist. Among the people Amy has performed with are Lionel Hampton and Ali Ryerson.

Beautiful Love is a great song written back in the early 1930's by Wayne King and Victor Young. It is sometimes done as a vocal piece, other times strictly as an instrumental. The trio does a really good job with their rendition of this classic song.

Many of us grew up listening to John Denver songs on the radio. One of his best known and loved songs is Sunshine On My Shoulders. The trio provides a beautiful, poignant rendition of the song. It is strong on bass at first, then moves into some nice piano.

Tennessee Waltz was Patti Page's signature song. A lot of vocalists have covered it over the years. But it isn't too often that the song is done strictly as an instrumental. This is one of those interesting arrangements that I mentioned earlier. In a way, the trio treats this a bit like a light blues tune. I know that that is kind of a strange way to portray the song. But, anyway, they make it work.

I Thought About You is a song that Johnny Mercer and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote. It was covered by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and many other top vocalists. I really liked the piano and bass that the trio put forth in their arrangement of this song.

I am a fan of Jobin songs like Girl From Impanema. Another one of his songs that I really like is Favela. The trio tackles this song with a slightly different arrangement. But it still has that cool bossa nova styling of the original.

In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning has been covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Carly Simon and even John Mayer. On this album, the trio makes this a very endearing instrumental. There is a real nice bass and brushes bit in the middle of the song.

The trio apparently wasn't satisfied in covering just one pop icon. They do their own rollicking version of the Sonny & Cher song, The Beat Goes On. This rendition kills it with piano that might make you think of a Bourbon Street bar in New Orleans.

3 Divas is definitely an interesting trio. Their arrangements of classic jazz and pop culture tunes are unique and very entertaining. I especially liked their rendition of The Beat Goes On. But the other songs on the album are also well done.

The 3 Divas album is available at selected online and traditional music retailers. To learn more, visit www.divajazz.com/groups/3divas .


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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers