Marguerite Mariama is a new voice in the world of jazz/R&B vocalists. She covers music, dance and theatre as artistic pursuits, as well as being a PhD-trained educator in African American Musical Culture. In her vocal career, Marguerite Mariama displays a polished style that deserves broader attention.
She begins with a rather downtempo version of the 1920s Ida Cox blues standard, "Wild Women Never Get The Blues," perhaps the only disappointment on the album. The song is usually a celebration, but this one just lies there. Thematically, Count Basie's "Goin' To Chicago," presented later in this album, bears a similar message and is delivered much more appropriately, with a punchy up-tempo performance aided by a Chico Freeman tenor sax solo.
While Mariama's expressive voice is well-suited for blues singing, I prefer her approach to jazz singing on such titles as "Young and Foolish," with a cooking Freeman solo, as well as "You Don't Know What Love Is," from the pens of Ray/DePaul. The rather forgotten Donny Hathaway/Leroy Hutson soul ballad "Tryin' Times" is given a fine dusting off, as well as "Home," the ballad from the Broadway musical version of The Wiz, which is unearthed quite nicely. Ivan Lins' popular ballad from the 1990s, "Love Dance," shows the romantic side of Mariama; she concludes with a version of Stevie Wonder's "Knocks Me Off My Feet."
Personnel: Aggregate Personnel: Marguerite Mariama: vocals; Lonnie Plaxico, Buster Williams: bass; Chico Freeman: tenor sax; Jimmy Sigler, Eric Reed: piano; Jeffrey Haynes: percussion; Leo Cordew, Carl Allen:drums.