Idiosyncratic jazz vocalist Rene Marie makes her presence unequivocally apparent on her second MaxJazz release, Live at Jazz Standard. Recorded over three nights in 2003 at the New York City club, the album features Marie's usual mix of standards and originals. Stylistically resting comfortably somewhere between Betty Carter and Shirley Horn, Marie digs into such classics as "Where or When," "Nature Boy," and "A Foggy Day," making each song different from the next and utterly unforgettable. You may never hear another version of "It Might as Well Be Spring" sang as spritely as the one that appears early on, and her take of "I Loves You Porgy" is as heartbreaking as her a cappella turn on "How Can I Keep From Singing?" is dramatic. Backed sensitively by pianist John Toomey, bassist Elias Bailey, and drummer T. Howard Curtis III, Marie just gets better with each solo release.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar