Rene Marie, vocals; John Toomey, piano; Elais Bailey, bass; T. Howard Curtis III, drums
René Marie sings live at Jazz Standard, New York City; setting off with some zip in the standard "Deed I Do". Supported by her well balanced trio and great swing playing, led by John Toomey on piano. This ex bank employee is some lively lady; scatting and singing with fire and punch. Sticking mostly to standards, with two of her own pieces, she can certainly enthral an audience. Whether it is Rodgers and Hammerstein's "It Might As Well Be Spring", or Gershwin's "I Love You Porgy", she bites into them with energy and flair; a natural entertainer she draws dramatic effect with fine use of light and shade and an expressive voice. One feels the tension of the audience at the end of each track. An exciting concept is her ability for mixing unlikely titles; Ravel's "Bolero" is teamed up with Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne"; this is another example of her vision and courage, it works splendidly. Gershwin again with "A Foggy Day", a delightful romp, encapsulating her great armoury of technique; this will make you feel good. Her own original "Paris On Ponce" is a great Tango, warm and exciting. She finishes unaccompanied with the Enya song "How Can I Keep From Singing?"
René Marie is a strong and confident singer, full of good ideas and an innate ability to entertain; a fine CD.
by Ferdinand Maylin
More New Sounds
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, June 2003 issue, all rights reserved