Live at Jazz Standard

COMPOSERS: René Marie
LABELS: MaxJazz
PERFORMER: René Marie
CATALOGUE NO: MXJ 116

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From stately Shirley Horn to daredevil Kurt Elling, America’s jazz singers are in a different creative league from the rest. The one I would suggest you investigate ahead of all the others, though, is the extraordinary RENÉ MARIE.

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Live at Jazz Standard is perhaps just a beat behind her previous studio set, Vertigo, but it’s evidence enough of her breathtaking talent. She makes overplayed standards as fresh as mint tea, writes interesting songs of her own, takes the most difficult passages of singing and handles every note as if she’s effortlessly skipping rope, and does things no other singer might have thought of – like mixing up Ravel’s Boléro with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’. Remember the name.