Jersey Jazz Journal

May 15, 2013

According to the liner notes, Loads of Love (M&M – 8723) is the fifth album from vocalist DIANE MARINO.  If the results on this disc are indicative of the quality of her prior efforts, I plan on checking them out at some time.  On this album she  accompanies herself on the piano with assistance from Houston Person who plays tenor sax on ten of the twelve tracks, Chris Brown on drums and Frank Marino on bass.  There are also contributions from guitarist Pat Bergson on four selections, and trumpeter George Tidwell on one.  Marino is a confident pianist and singer who is equally at home with ballads and rhythm tunes.  She has admitted to being influenced by Shirley Horn, and her choice of songs like “Someone You’ve Loved” and “Loads of Love,” both tunes recorded by Horn, reflects that influence.  The inclusion of the rarely heard Ellington tune “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream” is a welcome plus.  As always, having Person on hand is an enhancement worth adding.  Welcome to my consciousness Diane Marino!  (


January 5, 2014   by Doug Boynton

Diane Marino – “Loads Of Love” (M & M Records)  Released – April, 2013

“There’s an art, I think, to both the shared spotlight that jazz requires, and the required focus on the person whose name is on the cover. In this case, that person is Diane Marino: New York bred, Nashville-based, who has surrounded herself with a backing group that absolutely knows when it’s their turn, and when it’s not.

Ms. Marino’s talent is quietly insistent – a half-dozen tracks in, I really began to savor the subtelty in her delivery. She’s got that knack for interpreting vocals that only comes with having lived some of this stuff, and solid chops as a pianist, to boot. Gently swingly, eminently listenable, this album consists of a dozen covers, about half of ‘em – a little off the beaten track, but not by more than a tick or two.

Its a solid collection – my favorites include the title song – “Loads of Love,” written by Richard Rodgers for the 1962 Broadway Musical, “No Strings,” but you’ll also find “Too Late Now,” which the website Secondhand Songs notes is from the 1951 Movie, “Royal Wedding,” and has been covered by nearly 30 other artists.

Produced by saxophone guy Houston Person, whose name appears on so many independent recordings, his polish on this fifth CD from Ms. Marino shows. He’s got more than 50 recordings under his own name since the early 60s (including a “Best Of” compliation in 1969), and more than a hundred as a featured performer. His name in the credits makes me pay attention, and his solo shots are never overpowering, always to savor. Bonus points for the mix. Ms. Marino’s husband is also her superb bass player.  But too often, spouse/husband bassists end up a little heavy in the mix.  (Too often, I can tell without even looking at the credits.) Not the case, here, as the Goldilocks Principle was clearly in play.  Chris Brown on drums, Pat Bergeson on guitar, and George Tidwell on trumpet round out the group.

This will be on the ‘pod for a while, and selected tracks on the personal radio for a while longer. Very highly recommended.”


 In Tune International Magazine

Dan Singer  – “Singer’s Singers”                              October  20,2013

Dan Singer from New York City turns the spotlight on some overlooked Singers of the past and some bright newcomers, all of which are Singer’s Singers.

Diane Marino “Loads Of Love” M&M records 8723

Diane Marino is a most worthwhile singer/pianist/arranger. She is assisted by tenor sax ace Houston Person on many of this dozen-song program. Diane and Houston wildly propel a rousing “Get Out Of Town” (Porter). What a euphoric opening number. “It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream” (Ellington/ Hodges/ George) contains some of the most delicate, carefully laid back, loose singing you’ll ever hear. Diane just so easily lets it all hang out. Noteworthy again is Mr. Person. Ms. Marino’s piano/vocal just can’t be bettered. “Too Late Now” (Lerner/Lane) is yet another resilient ballad. Her incredible tender soft velvety caressing lyrical vocalizing is non-stop. Sometimes she actually speaks her vocal making it even more penetrating. And wow, what foreground sounds coming from Mr. Person. “How Am I To Know” (King/Parker) receives a dazzling work-over in shining vivid fashion. “Never Let Me Go” (Livingston /Evans) is dreamlike — soft as a cushion. There’s a fine version of “I See Your Face Before Me” (Schwartz/Dietz). She has located the unfamiliar verse and along with Mr. Person offers a most exceptional version of this standard. Romance glistens throughout.


Jazz Scan

Diane Marino: “Loads of Love”   By Ric Bang –  August 29, 2013

You’ve got to hand it to Houston Person. The 78-year-old tenor sax player isn’t merely an icon who has performed professionally for more than four decades, with a discography of almost 80 albums; he also has helped relatively unknown jazz vocalists develop their careers. He assists in a production capacity, and often helps select the backup groups for recording sessions. Such is the case with Diane Marino’s new album, Loads of Love
Marino plays swinging piano, sings up a storm, and is an accomplished arranger. She initially worked solo in New York City jazz clubs, until she met and married bassist Frank Marino. They subsequently worked together, formed the M&M record company and began to release albums; Loads of Love is her fifth. The combo used for this session features Person on 10 of the dozen tracks, which probably will help this album get the attention it deserves.
The backup musicians are excellent. Diane plays grooving piano, and husband Frank is a driving bassist; he lays down a beat that really drives the group. Guitarist Pat Bergeson and drummer Chris Brown complete the fine rhythm section. Trumpeter George Tidwell guests on one track. As for Diane’s vocal skills, she’s one of the best I’ve heard in the past several years. Her voice and phrasing are great. I suspect she’d sound even better, if she didn’t also need to concentrate on the keyboard.
This set mostly visits the Great American Songbook, with contributions from Cole Porter, Richard Rogers, Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, J. Lerner and Louis Armstrong, along with lesser-heard gems such as “Never Let Me Go” and “I See Your Face Before Me.”
Diane demonstrates her ability to swing on the album’s opening track, “Get Out of Town.” She does the tune up-tempo, and some very tasty tenor sax work by Person immediately establishes his importance to this session. Add Diane’s well-crafted arrangements, and the resulting album deserves to be called special. This isn’t your usual “support the singer” group; a lot of thought went into creating the charts, so that each instrumentalist can demonstrate his prowess.
Congratulations to all concerned!

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
By Mark Jordan
September 4, 2013
Click Here To Read (PDF)


Jazz Weekly

FEMALE VOICES – Diane Marino: Loads of Love

by George W. Harris • July 18, 2013 • 

Here’s another example of female singers that bring divergent ways of delivering music. Honey toned Diane Marino stays with the American Songbook for the most part, with a rhythm team of Chris Brown/dr, Frank Marino/b, and Pat Bergeson/g along with Ms. Marino accompanying herself on piano. Even better, Houston Person brings his foggy tenor into the studio and delivers warm obbligatos and solos on material like “Get Out of Town” and “I See Your Face Before Me.” Marino has an exceptional ability to enunciate a lyric clearly, and her timing fits that of a piano player, making the note hit just the right place for the most swinging effect.

M&M Records


Diane Marino..”Loads Of Love”..Featuring Houston Person..2013  John Gilbert

Personnel: Diane Marino /vocals/piano/arrangements  ,Houston Person/ tenor sax;  Chris Brown/ drums;  Frank Marino/ bass;  Pat Bergeson/ guitar;   George Tidwell/ trumpet

This album is simply catnip for the jazz cats. Marino opens matters with a sultry  vocal version of “Get Out Of Town” making way for the inimitable Houston Person and his swinging message.

Articulation combined with swing is the hallmark of Diane Marino and she sends a hipper than hip tune soaring into the stratosphere. Cole Porter would be smiling that enigmatic smile and certainly add a clever rejoinder to his classic song.

“It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream” Duke and company would be pleased with this ballad that is smokier than an early Philly speakeasy. A glass of fine vino combined with Marino and Person would be the final touch to this tune that will touch your soul and…. make angels weep.

“I Just Found Out About Love”…This tune swings like magic and Person’s solos always add an extra touch. Frank Marino has a superb time at bat. This is a jaunty effort that is worthy of a second listen.

“Take It Easy” Ellington’s tunes are classy poetic compositions and Marino’s vocal pays homage spectacularly.

“Someone You’ve Loved”…George Tidwell is whispering sensual asides that fit like a suede glove…..

“I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” Well it was jump tune time and doing the brush work was Mr. Chris Brown with time like a Rolex…Houston makes me happy because he has “Got It” as King Pleasure would say… Nice piano solo by Marino shows her other side and it gets NO better than this.

“Loads Of Love” Diane Marino’s musical conversation is capable of carrying a grouping to the maximum. Again Person’s soliloquy is fodder for the hip. An old Irish bon mot says, “When God made time, he made plenty of it” and it could very well apply to this band and they take full advantage of it. This vocalist knows how to sing and play, what more can you ask for unless you have the ear of Van Gogh.

Hot as a two dollar pistol and sweet as your first kiss..Both are encapsuled in this fine CD. Diane Marino’s elan and spirit with the ‘tout de monde’ of musicians accompaning her is pure. There is no meat on the bone left when these cats do their thing.     5 STARS


June 2013 Jazz Inside Magazine Interview
By Joe Patitucci
Click Here To Read (PDF)


May 2013 Jazz Inside Magazine
By Eric Harabadian

LOADS OF LOVE—M&M Records MCD 8723. Get Out Of Town; It Shouldn’t Happen to A Dream; I Just Found Out About Love; Too Late Now; How Am I To Know; Someone You’ve Loved; Take Love Easy; Just For A Thrill; I Didn’t Know What Time It Was; Never Let Me Go; I See Your Face Before Me; Loads of Love.

PERSONNEL: Diane Marino, vocals, piano and arrangements; Houston Person, tenor saxophone Chris Brown, drums; Frank Marino, bass; Pat Bergeson, guitar; George Tidwell, trumpet.

On her fifth album, NYC-based vocalist Diane Marino continues a path she has forged thus far; communicating beauty and warmth through the language of classic jazz. She has dabbled in Latin styles and delved into the pop world on previous recordings. But she brings it all back home to her roots, with these stellar interpretations of selections from the Great American Songbook. The addition of consummate saxophonist/arranger Houston Person is the perfect complement to her approach, with an attention to detail and a personal touch. The result is a gorgeous collection of blues influenced ballads and love songs.

Cole Porter’s “Get Out of Town” sets the record’s pace by swinging in a mid-tempo and strident style. Marino’s clear and articulate phrases capture the carefree sentiment of the lyric. Duke Ellington’s “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream” finds Marino taking her time and letting the words breathe. She adds just the right amount of pause and care to give the song plenty of rich emotional weight. Pat Bergeson’s thoughtful guitar blends well with Person’s tenor work saying so much with well-placed melody lines. Marino shifts the mood into high gear with “I Just Found Out About Love.” It’s a decidedly upbeat and joyous tune that fosters strong solos from everyone. “Too Late Now” has a late night lounge type vibe to it. Marino’s piano and Person’s robust horn embellishments make a perfect pair. “How Am I to Know” ushers in a Brazillian flair, with a tasty samba that spotlights Marino’s fine comping technique. “Someone You’ve Loved” is a Johnny Pate number that recalls Billie Holiday. Marino delivers very soulfully, with smooth muted trumpet accents from George Tidwell. Ellington’s “Take Love Easy” has the singer offering good advice in an appropriately astute and relaxed manner. Louis Armstrong’s “Just for a Thrill” is noteworthy for Marino’s sterling blues-based piano work. This one’s a show piece that really brings out the buoyancy in her rhythms and the expressiveness of her ideas. The title track “Loads of Love” is a composition by Richard Rogers that might not be one of his most popular but, indeed, one of his hidden gems. Marino brings out the playfulness and sass of the lyrics as she gets direct and to the point. The rhythm section responds in kind and drives the album home, with a vibrant groove.

The collaboration of Marino and Person is a winning combination and a step in the right direction for traditional jazz. The production is effervescent and clean and the song choices draw from a rich and time-honored well without feeling overdone or rehashed. Bravo!


Paul Richards, Program Director, WHLI -NY April 25, 2013

Diane Marino delivers yet again. Can this girl do no wrong? She absolutely nailed the 60s genre the last time out with her “jazz-i-fied” arrangements and now she slays the Great American Songbook with her new album “Loads of Love”. Here at WHLI, we just put several tracks into rotation.  Definitely check this album out if you want to spend a little quality time curled up with some brilliant music. Anytime you combine terrific vocal performances with outstanding arrangements, you’re gonna get what you have here. A slam-dunk winner!


Javier Garcia-Escamez  –


Bruno Pollacci Anima Jazz Pisa, Italy “A Voice A Soul” May 15, 2013

“I listen your CD with curiosity and pleasure. It’s a CD full of good vocal performances and interesting arrangements. Your professionalism is the best and your interpretations are really intensive. My compliments also for the group of very interesting musicians that complete this important discography work. I’ll promote your CD in “A Voice, A Soul” n°238 of Saturday 25 of May.”


Joe Montague- Riveting Riffs Magazine  April 17, 2013


Sal Calfa  Le Jazz Affair

Just received “Loads of Love”… Let me say you have another winner. Excellent mix. I will be showcasing it within the next few weeks. Having a hard time picking 3 songs out, the whole CD is superb. I’m in love with “It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream” Houston’s Sax and your voice is melting, better then Sarah Vaughan or Dinah Washington’s versions.  This will be a challenge to pick out 3 songs. Anyway just wanted to say congrats on the CD – it is great!


MIDWEST RECORD / CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

Volume 37/Number 162 April 12, 2013

M & M RECORDS  –DIANE MARINO/Loads of Love:  Houston Person doesn’t just honk his sax here, he shows up as producer as well, and his first hand knowledge of the old days lends some special sauce to this piano bar set of classics.  Knowing how to frame the songs and Marino’s piano playing vocals, the result is a high octane example of a classic piano bar thrush of a certain age delivering the goods with the kind of flair that keeps bringing you back night after night.  A killer set for when you’re in the mood for some sophistication with bounce, this is first class, solid, adult listening that connects.  Well done.


Joost van Steen, host/producer Jazz & Blues Tour with Alphen Stad FM/TV (ASFM105.4) in Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands  April 2, 2013

Diane Marino “Loads of Love” .…..
…..And joy, and happiness, and skills, and variation… and so this can be the shortest review of a CD.., but a wonderful CD and an asset to everyone’s collection…
But should this be such a short review? No Way!
Diane amongst the great musicians that accompany her lets you enjoy great music and great lyrics where variation and joy of making music is giving all her listeners these “Loads of Love”.
Therefore it will be a pleasure to give the CD as much airplay as possible so every music lover will be convinced to get this CD in collection.
Already looking forward to the next project because we can rest assure that this talent will not end for a long long time because “Loads of Love” can fill a lot more CD’s
At least for now lots of luck with this CD and… thank you for the music!



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