Angelo Divino makes an honest effort on “Love A to Z”

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Angelo Divino’s latest work, “Love A to Z” explores the idea of love in various contexts. With forthright lyrics and a smooth singing voice that straddles the border between tenor and baritone, Divino entertains with the heart of classic jazz. The songs on “Love A to Z” range from traditional love songs, to love songs for life and cities left behind.

About Angelo Divino

While it is not uncommon for singers in any genre to have researched artists who came before them, not every artist has written plays or musicals to explore those lives fully. Divino is an exception. His stage shows that celebrate the lives of Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra, are highly regarded.

It was Divino’s fortuitous friendship with Ellington’s sister, Ruth that led to his writing and performing the stage show, “Lucky So and So.” Divino’s work about Ellington is the only one to explore fully the musician’s fascinating life story and musical legacy. The stage show has been re-vamped for full scale production.

Divino’s Sinatra tribute, “Let Me Be Frank,” was completed in time for the incomparable singer’s centennial in 2015. Both “Let Me Be Frank,” and “Lucky So and So” found excited audiences and were well-reviewed in Cabaret Scenes Magazine.

 In New York City, Divino sang lead vocals with the Rainbow Room Orchestra at Rockefeller Center. He also sang lead with The Duke Ellington Legacy Band at Birdland, and had baritone-tenor duties in the vocal quartet, Afterglow.

 

Angelo Divino: “Love A to Z”

“Hey Life”

There have been forthright singers reviewed on this site before, but few have been as clear as Divino. The word that comes to mind when the first track, “Hey Life” is playing is “unabashed.” The song, especially the vocal delivery, sounds like the squaring of one’s shoulders and looking a shapeless, but powerful opponent in the eye to catalog wins and losses. From the outset, Divino distinguishes himself as someone who portrays clear sentiments with a steady voice.

“About Last Night”

Reading the title could lead audiences to misunderstand the song. The track portrays a romance that continues but shouldn’t because the object of his affection isn’t free. The narrator proposes that they talk things over, in person. In short, it seems unlikely the forbidden romance will be ended by the parties in the song. Every opportunity to simply end it results in another meeting whenever they can get away. The moody jazz that sets the soundscape is perfect for the song’s portrayal of dilemma.

Divino’s voice is enthralling on all tracks. He has the capacity to hold notes for long stretches, and does so without any apparent strain. In this way, Divino incorporates some of Sinatra’s style into his own. Divino sings with a hint of vulnerability. There is not a lot of swagger here; it is more akin to honesty. Because of this, Divino offers audiences something different. The 10 songs on “Love A to Z” are likely to delight new fans and cause them to eagerly await Divino’s next album.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. 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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