Grammy Nominated Vocalist René Marie
Pens First All-Original LP ‘Sound Of Red’
Downbeat Premieres Title Track from Forthcoming Album
René Marie, the “outrageous” (Wall Street Journal) vocalist has taken the recording process one giant step further with the release of her most personal album on May 13. As the follow-up to 2013’s Grammy award-nominated album I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt), ‘Sound of Red’ is her first album of all-original songs written and co-produced by the contemporary jazz chanteuse herself. Downbeat currently is offering a full stream of the title track here: http://bit.ly/1phb0dL
It’s been a “remarkable path to jazz” (NPR) for René. As a fearless force in the contemporary jazz world, René has never been afraid to look into the more challenging places of human experience where love and contentment give way to discord and struggle. ‘Sound of Red’ is a musical statement that according to René, “attempts to cover the spectrum of human emotion.” The album’s 11 songs – most of them autobiographical – provide glimpses of the many small but profound turning points that are a part of an individual’s life.
She explains, “I wanted to make a record that people could go back to again and again to excavate their emotions,” says René. “We cover things over every day. We have to in order to move through the day and move through our lives. We can’t always afford to be vulnerable to things like pain, loss, confusion, hurt and frustration. I want this record to provide some kind of architecture to provide support in those moments when our emotions are not necessarily happy ones.”
The album features two-thirds of her longstanding trio – bassist Elias Bailey and co-producer, drummer Quentin Baxter, both of whom have been a part of her backup crew for fifteen years, with newcomer pianist John Chin. René summoned special guests for final polishing, like saxophonist Sherman Irby who delivers a bold solo on its title track. Trumpeter Etienne Charles is another guest of honor who performed on and arranged the horn sections – Michael Dease on trombone and Diego Rivera on tenor saxophone – for “If You Were Mine,” and the endorphin-lifting tune “Joy of Jazz.” The rich and sensual “Certaldo,” dedicated to the Italian town of the same name, gets its sensibility from guest guitarist Romero Lubambo.
Compassion and despair fuel “This Is (Not) a Protest Song,” a song tackling the plight of homelessness that affected her family as a young girl. “We were homeless for a few months. It was an experience that you don’t forget after you’re through it,” said René. Her tumultuous past coupled with a wealth of perspective on life’s highs and lows inform these songs that dig deep into the hearts of a broad audience. “I wrote these songs to create a safe place for people to tune in to their emotions and perhaps deal with them in a way that they might not be able to do otherwise.”
René and her live band Experiment in Truth plan to tour this spring and summer. More dates are expected to be added in the coming weeks.
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