Soul Serenade: The Gloria Lynne Project was released in 2018 so why review it now? The simple answer is that Diane Marino only came to my attention via Twitter a few weeks ago: still better late than never.
I have been playing tracks from this album on Sounds Like Jazz for the past two weeks because they deserve to be heard with one exception.
The opening track, Somewhere in the Night, “lend[s] itself perfectly to a more smooth jazz feel.”* For me that “smooth jazz ” or “middle of the road feel” does not give the listener a true sense of what is to come and does not sit comfortably with the rest of the album.
What does come after the opening track is the sheer delight of a singer who clearly connects with the songs she has chosen to highlight. Diane Marino is also blessed with a core group of musicians (on keys Brad Cole, drummer Chris Brown, bass player Frank Marino and guitarist Mark Christian) who play like a well drilled unit and are joined by a whole host of other very good musicians who simply add to the high standard of musicianship.
There is a very good blend of tempo’s through the album and the tunes are very well chosen. The Jazz in You and Happy Shoes are, for me, the standout tracks but I would suggest that you will easily other tunes to your own personal favourites list. At the end of the day this is an album delivered by a very good singer singing songs that mean something to her but also meant something to the other name in this album’s title, Gloria Lynne.
This is not a tribute album but it does pay respect to the writers of the tunes that form the fourteen tracks that go make up Soul Serenade: The Gloria Lynne Project. My recommendation would be to open a bottle of good wine, turn the lights down low and let the voice of Diane Marino, and the sound of her fantastic backing band, wash over you and enjoy!
*(taken from the album liner notes)