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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rene Marie: I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt

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Iconoclastic and often enigmatic singer Rene Marie was plain when she once said that she never wished to record a tribute disc. After four successful recordings with MAXJAZZ, including one (Vertigo (2001)) provocatively pairing “Dixie" with “Strange Fruit," Marie took a hard left to address in music some of her pressing artistic concerns. This resulted in 2011's Black Lace Freudian Slip (Motema) and her loving ode to America, Voice of My Beautiful Country (Motema, 2011). No, Marie had no intention ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rene Marie: Black Lace Freudian Slip

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Budding jazz instrumentalists are often told that they need to find their own voice but, ironically, those who use their actual voices are often expected to adhere to the sonic standards of those who came before. Fans and press who value originality in jazz instrumentalists wring their hands in frustration when more John Coltrane clones come into the picture but, on the other side of the coin, the masses applaud and herald singers with voices crafted in the images of ...

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Rene Marie

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René MarieNovember 1, 2008 (First Set)Dazzle NightclubDenver

René Marie is a jazz singer, and one of the better ones in the business these days. She performs the standards and often does so in a straight ahead, straightforward but still unique manner. She's not content to exclusively reinterpret the jazz songbook, however. She writes her own songs and is also known to occasionally select a pop song not typically heard in a jazz context ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ren: Serene Renegade

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Modern jazz appeals to those who love spontaneity. As René Marie embraces intuitive poetry and heartfelt memories, she applies a personal touch. Her wordless vocals and lyric interpretations give every performance an improviser's cloak. Interwoven with a mystique, her session can mesmerize an audience in minutes. But it's her fresh spontaneity that makes each performance so rapturous. Emotions are bared, strong links are forged between singer and listener, and Marie gives her audience a performance to remember.

“A ...

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Ren

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A lot can happen in four years. Lives can evolve from secretive and sad to open and free. People can move from chains to change. Dreams can be followed, lessons learned, friends lost, dignity gained. Strongly entrenched beliefs can be blown to smithereens, personal barriers can be broken through again and again and again. In four years. In only four years.

Those eloquent word are René Marie’s and they need no editorial comment, except perhaps ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ren: Live at Jazz Standard

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Have you ever had someone say to you, “You really missed your calling”? Well, René Marie (no last name given, and none necessary) really did miss hers. Happily for René Marie and those who’ve heard her sing, either live or on record, she was able to find it. Better late than never.

René Marie always wanted to be a singer but settled instead for a steady gig at a bank in Richmond, VA, before she mustered the courage to walk ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rene Marie: Live At the Jazz Standard

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The biggest surprise perhaps on Rene Marie’s inaugural live recording is the conspicuous absence of her controversial reading of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit" and the traditional “Dixie" in medley from her last MAXJAZZ recording Vertigo (MXJ114, 2001). To Marie’s credit, she does cover her previously covered “How Can I Keep From Singing" (the title of her initial MAXJAZZ release). Stunning in this release is Ms. Marie’s beautiful coupling of Ravel’s “Bolero" and Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne." This daring association alone (the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ren: Vertigo

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Accurate and crisp with a soulful delivery, singer René Marie brings new life to old standards. These are the songs that we recognize automatically. All it takes is a few bars. Natural and personable, Marie brings her second recording as a leader around as straight-ahead and familiar. She pushes the envelope far enough, however, to prove her point: that jazz can entertain and venture into creative territory at the same time. Her arrangements allow plenty of room for freedom. With ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

René Marie: Vertigo

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Ms. Marie serves up a release even more satisfying than her delectable debut How Can I Keep From Singing . Laverne Butler, Carla Cook, and now René Marie have all released their second recordings for the MaxJazz Vocal Series. Ms. Marie is following up her 2000 release How Can I Keep From Singing (MaxJazz 109) with Vertigo, another collection of provocatively chosen standards and originals. Outstanding from her debut on MaxJazz was her ...


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