Vocalist Diane Marino celebrates a friend and entertains audiences


Singer Diane Marino seeks to pay homage to a friend on “Soul Serenade – – the Gloria Lynne Project.” The performer moves away from the piano to allow herself to concentrate on the singing duties on the album. With the relatively large ensemble of musicians Marino has put together, classic songs come to life. From the sounds of things, it has worked out well for Marino to have focused on singing. “Soul Serenade” is a collection of 14 songs that find Marino and her ensemble playing with a buoyant vibe and energy. Two standout tracks from the release are “Somewhere in the Night” and “An Old-Fashioned Walk.”

About “Soul Serenade” and Gloria Lynne

The songs on the album were taught to Marino by Gloria Lynne. All 14 songs had been unknown to Marino prior to Lynne’s performances. Marino includes them all on the recording. But one listen to the recording shows that  Marino has done all the homework to make her dreams for the album come true.

With an arranger, a solid ensemble that consists of two basses, two violins, cello, bassoon and multiple guitars, trumpet, and trombone, and an array of saxophones, Marino puts her own spin on things.

Gloria Lynne’s life and musical career are worth celebrating. Born just days before the Great Depression, Lynne’s recording and performing career spanned almost a lifetime. From 1958 to 2007, Lynne made an impact on the worlds of jazz and r&b. She earned accolades from jazz and r&b organizations. She passed away in 2013 at age 83.


“Somewhere in the Night” by Diane Marino

The pop-jazz opening will remind some listeners of “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder. The soundscape is rich and heartfelt. A saxophone rides atop the jazz groove created by the bass, drums, and piano. The pace changes from slow to mid-tempo. Except for the saxophone, all of the instrumentation sounds so deep that audiences might expect an instrumental, there seems no room in the soundscape for vocals. But, like other songs on the recording, “Somewhere in the Night” doesn’t disappoint or get too bogged down in the patterns it follows early on.

Marino’s voice is one of those rare ones that are deep without being too breathy, or too inflexible to produce clear diction. Each word is pronounced crisply. Her interpretation of the song is lively and captures an essence of romance.

For fans, the song will not feel long enough. The instrumentation and the vocals carry listeners away to another time, one more romantic, arguably than the current one. In short, Marino and her ensemble create a world of sound that listeners don’t want to leave.

“Let’s Take an Old-Fashioned Walk” by Diane Marino

Marino takes on an Irving Berlin tune. Knowing that the iconic composer was behind the song, listeners are curious about what Marino will be able to do with it. The bass line creates the main groove. It moves in an easy up and down rhythm, with the gentle crush and shimmer of drums just beneath it.

Instrument showcases help to create dynamics and textures. A saxophone, then a guitar solo before the vocals come in. Marino’s voice is a bit higher here, but she continues to excel at the snappy rhythms and clear storytelling.

The lyrics are simple, lovers can work through issues while taking an old-fashioned walk. The rhyme scheme is relatively simple, too. “Talk” is paired with “walk” and Marino’s bright voice enlivens the song.

Marino manages to create jazz that is both fun and timeless. “Soul Serenade- – the Gloria Lynne Project” will be available for purchase March 19, 2018.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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