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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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What the World Needs Now is Love

Arbors Records ARCD 19381

1. What the World Needs Now is Love
2. I Want to be Happy
3. Moon Song
4. Groove Merchant
5. Slipped Disc
6. Cry Me a River
7. I Could Have Danced All Night
8. Jo-House Blues
9. Old Folks
10. I Am Woman
Sherrie Maricle – Leader, drums
Jami Dauber – Trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet
Janelle Reichman – Tenor sax, clarinet
Tomoko Ohno – Piano
Noriko Ueda – Bass 

Five Play is a small group from the celebrated Diva Jazz Orchestra and anybody in doubt whether the ladies can jazz with the best should listen to this fascinating album. What is really great to me about this band is that they take on all comers in the swinging jazz world. The only all-ladies' bands I have heard in the UK play weird stuff, so of course it is impossible to make comparisons. Sure I have heard some great female jazzers - Kathy Stobart and Betty Smith immediately spring to mind - but not complete groups. 

What the World Needs Now is taken at 4/4 instead of the usual 3/4 and makes the transposition in time well. I Want to be Happy gets some new clothes and Jami Dauber plays some Ruby Braff-like cornet on Moon Song. Groove Merchant really swings: Sherrie Maricle is a great drummer in the Mel Lewis tradition; it is not possible to give higher praise. 

Slipped Disc is a feature for Janelle Reichman on clarinet and in just a few bars you realise that she is just as competent on that instrument as on tenor sax. The sleeve note says the last chorus taken at exceptional high speed is in B, sooner Janelle than me!

Cry Me a River is one of the great ballads and this is one of the great performances. I Could Have Danced All Night demonstrates the amazing talents of pianist Tomoko Ohno who hails originally from Japan but is now a regular member of the band. The same is true of fine bassist Noriko Uedo. Jo House is a blues composition, written by Toshiko Akiyoshi. The band really goes to town on this one; everyone is featured and everyone plays well. 

Old Folks has been a popular jazz ballad for a long time, but the melody is not often played by the bass player, and she makes a significant contribution on this track. The last track, I Am Woman, the sleeve note suggests might be Hilary Clinton’s inaugural theme song. In hindsight we know that this is not going to happen and I would say to these ladies: stay with jazz and keep away from politicians. With this CD you have given a straight answer to any questions people may have with regard to women in jazz. That’s something you will never get from any politician!  

Don Mather


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