I love discovering artists who, for one reason or another, I haven't listened to before but then come across them and think "this is great stuff... why haven't I heard this before." That's what's happened with vocalist and songwriter René Marie, who I found out more about after realizing she would be gracing the Exodus to Jazz stage at the Reformation Lutheran Church on November 13th in an early concert at 5:00 pm.
Starting her singing career after the age of 40, René Marie is on her eighth album since 1999. I'm listening to that album, Black Lace Freudian Slip now and it has been a real treat to hear. Going to see if I can get a listen to another CD she is also touring on, her previous Motéma disc Voice of My Beautiful Country, which spans music from Tin Pan Alley to the Jefferson Airplane. According to one interviewer, Marie is a "strong and thoughtful woman who continually looks within herself" who, when asked who her musical influences were replied "what," not "who" and listed her influences as “pain, wisdom and beauty.” This woman has lived life and she brings all this into her singing and writing... beautifully.
Here's some material to read and, especially, to watch and listen to so you can see what you'll be missing if you don't come out next Sunday. Here's something to start you with:
- An interview on her new CD and being a jazz singer.
- An article Jazz singer Rene Marie talks about the past and her future in the Denver WestWord.
- A video showcasing her own songwriting, Many Years Ago.
- A video of Just My Imagination at the Bridgestone Jazz Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with an artist who will be coming to the ETJ stage a week later with Johnny O'Neal—trumpter Jeremy Pelt.
- Once you get by the introduction in Spanish, a video of This For Joe, a great tune from her current CD that has the following great lyric: "I can’t compete/ I can’t be a good girl and sing standards nice and sweet/ Yes I know what swing is/ But for me that thing is incomplete./ And I mean it — I won’t compete./ Please don’t compare me to Ella or Sarah, magnolias won’t stayin this hair./Cause that was then, this is now” that seems to sum her up fine.
Show time for this one is 5:00 pm, with two one-hour sets. The doors at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 111 N. Chestnut, Rochester. open at 4:00 pm. Tickets are Patron: $35; Premium: $25; and General Admission: $20. Tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com and at all That's the Ticket at participating Wegmans stores. Jazz@Rochester is a sponsor of Exodus to Jazz.