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How Can I Keep From Singing


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Audio CD, May 16, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MAXJAZZ
  • ASIN: B00004SVIM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,671 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. What A Difference A Day Makes
2. Tennessee Waltz
3. Motherless Child
4. Four Women
5. The Very Thought Of You
6. I Like You
7. Afro Blue
8. A Sleepin' Bee
9. Hurry Sundown
10. God Bless The Child
11. Take My Breath Away
12. How Can I Keep From Singing?

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

The national arrival of Virginia-Washington, D.C. singer René Marie is a major event in the jazz vocal ranks. She has passion and technique to spare, and she's willing to try unusual material and fresh approaches. A ballad like "The Very Thought of You" shows her in command of all the traditional virtues, unfaltering pitch and articulation, subtle inflections of her sound, and a personal approach to reshaping melody. She even takes some signature songs and makes them her own, recasting "God Bless the Child" at a fast tempo that takes it out of Billie Holiday's exclusive orbit. She has a sense of a lyric's strength, too, whether it's the potent protest of Nina Simone's "Four Women" or the whimsy of Harold Arlen and Truman Capote's "A Sleepin' Bee."

The musicians are superb, working hand in glove with Marie well beyond the usual accompanying roles, from the Afro-Cuban modal powerhouse "Afro Blue" to the township groove of the title song. Pianist Mulgrew Miller surrounds her voice with the most apt chords, while bassist Ugonna Okegwo, solid throughout, makes a compelling duet of "Motherless Child." "Tennessee Waltz" picks up jazz harmonies from Marie's voice and a strong country-blues infusion from Marvin Sewell's slide guitar, while "Afro Blue" has Marie soaring with Sam Newsome's soprano saxophone, effectively imitating a flute in the process. Marie's also an affecting songwriter, as the uptempo "I Like You" and the sultry "Hurry Sundown" make clear. René Marie is a classic jazz singer, one who sets her standards by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan but still makes her own statements. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
92%
4 star
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See all 26 customer reviews
It's truly hypnotic.
William D. Campbell
Sometimes life offers us the most pleasant surprises,and this was one.
Kenneth Hugh Burton
She's definitely ahead of Diana Krall with me.
Gyorgy Mezo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Hugh Burton on July 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I first heard Rene'Marie when she performed at the emerging artist stage at the Atlanta Jazz festival in May 2001. Sometimes life offers us the most pleasant surprises,and this was one. I had decided even before Rene' had finished singing that if her CD was available,I had to get it. For her closing number Rene' did a medley that started off with "Dixie",and my first impression was, "What is this woman from Virginia doing?". Then she started singing "Strange Fruit". She Turned It Out! I ran and got the CD right after the show, and from that day to this my ears are full of bright moments. The MaxxJazz CD "How can I Keep From Singing ?" is a masterful effort from Rene' Marie. As I listened, I was in awe,with the thoughtfullnes of her repertoir and arrangements. It would be totally unfair to compare Rene' with any other jazz singers. For when you include new arrangements on "traditional" jazz standards (What A Difference A Day Makes and The Very Thought of You) with her arrangements of songs like "Tennesee Walts" now a nice blues tune, and a medley of Motherless Child-Four Women", plus the songs "I Like You" and "Hurry Sundown" (which she wrote) and "Take My Breath Away"(which she co-wrote)there is no comparison. Rene' is quite accommodating to the musicians, and frequently provides an interlude to showcase their talents.Also included in this CD is a bonus video track "Thanks But I Don't Dance" which will you an idea of what here live performance is like. How can I keep from listening? I can't.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William D. Campbell on July 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I first heard René Marie (formerly René Croan) singing "Comes Love" (from her 1998 album "Renaissance," now out of print) from my car stereo while on the road in Los Angeles. I literally pulled off the freeway to let her magnificent voice warm me all over.
So, of course, I rushed to put my ear to her new CD "How Can I Keep from Singing," and I am hooked. Not only does René Marie have the chops, but she is so inventive and entrancing it sends chills down the spine. Don't believe me? Then listen to her yodel midway through her bluesy take on "Tennessee Waltz" -- it's perfect!
And grab a look at the CD-ROM video clip of "Thanks, But I Can't Dance" included on the disc. You'll be watching a marvelous vocalist not just singing a song, but playfully discovering it, freshly savoring it. She simply radiates talent. It's truly hypnotic.
To absorb René Marie's artistry is to bear witness to the rising of a new star. Get this disc so you can say you knew her back when...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eric Thorsen on December 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I first heard Rene Marie sing 'I Like You' on a local Jazz station. I was hooked! Rene could sing the alphabet song and make it sound great. Her style and tone are smooth and delightful to listen to. The instrumentation backup supports her and holds its own level of quality. My favorite tracks are the classic 'What a difference a day makes,' 'The very thought of you,' the soulful 'Four Women', and a stimulating 'How can I keep from singing?' How can I stop from complimenting?? The entire disc is fantastic. Rene's solid voice will remind you of Ella and Sarah, but she stands on her own with this disc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Webb on August 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Every now and then a new artist comes along who seems destined to become a classic - someone we will remember long after the last note fades away.
Rene Marie seems to be just that kind of artist - someone who sings as though every note breathes and moves and sways with new life, re-defining the meaning of the word "singer".
Aside from the richness of her voice, one of the things that sets this disk apart from the usual "female jazz singer" fare is the choice of songs offered up on this CD. By taking Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart's classic country song "Tennessee Waltz" and re-inventing it as as a blusey soulful ballad, Marie stretches the idea of "Jazz as Improvisation" to the max. She also proves herself as a songwriter as well by writing or co-writing three songs on the CD that stand up as well as other classics on the disk such as "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "God Bless the Child". One stand out is the soft romanticism of "Take My Breath Away", which Marie co-wrote with Bob Hallahan.
The disk ends on a joyful note with a Jamacian inspired version of "How Can I Keep From Singing" that leaves you wanting more and wishing the disk was twice as long.
The CD's liner note says that her name means "re-born" and she breathes new life into the meaning of the word Jazz. This is a disk that will be enjoyed by all who love music.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By BeadMoon Stardust on June 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Rene Marie's CD rewards the listener (whether a jazz lover or not) with her compellingly unique style. Marie's voice range is as remarkably different as fire and water, vibrating similar properties to the hearts of listeners. Often times you will need to remind yourself that it is not Ella or Nancy or some other splendid jazz diva you're listening to...It is the previously obscure (but never to be again) Rene Marie...filling your soul with her own poignant interpretations of some well known classics, along with the refreshingly new (yet oddly familiar). There is no doubt the legendary and astute musical accompaniment on this CD only adds to Marie's delightful performance. How nice to be introduced to a sure-fire DIVA for the 21st Century! Prepare to be thoroughlly and deliciously immersed in Marie's vocal genius! Finally for those who've witnessed Marie's live performances, you already know that the very best is yet to come...for those who have not, you have a rare treat in store!
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