René Marie

Black Lace Freudian Slip

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Black Lace Freudian Slip is a rarity: a jazz-oriented vocal album that is dominated by the singer's own compositions. René Marie, who co-produced Black Lace Freudian Slip with acoustic pianist Bruce Barth (although Barth leaves all the piano playing to Kevin Bales), didn't write everything on this early-2011 recording. But she wrote most of the material, and her writing is as strong as her singing. Jazz vocalists, of course, have a long history of using other artists' songs to express themselves emotionally; Marie's far-reaching repertoire has included material by everyone from Harry Warren to Jefferson Airplane. But on Black Lace Freudian Slip, her own songs are the main focus. And she excels as a both a vocalist and a songwriter on originals that include the playful "Rim Shot," the bluesy "Tired," the contemplative "Gosh, Look at the Time," and the dark, moody "Fallin' Off a Log." Occasionally, Marie steps outside of jazz on this 69-minute CD. Marie's "Wishes," for example, is folk-rock and finds jazz musician Dexter Payne contributing some Bob Dylan-ish harmonica; the tune wouldn't be out of place on a Tracy Chapman album. Marie never claimed to be a jazz purist or a jazz snob, and "Wishes" underscores the fact that she sees the artistic value in music other than straight-ahead jazz. The jazz world is full of artists who have little or no interest in anything having to do with rock, folk, or R&B; Marie, however, clearly is not one of them. The jazz-oriented (though not jazz-exclusive) singer has kept an open mind, and that open-mindedness continues to serve her well on Black Lace Freudian Slip.

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