This is certainly music that has been "lived in", played by her regular trio constituting of bassist Elias Bailey, drummer/co-producer Quentin E. Baxter, and her "new" pianist John Chin. If you listen to the splendid interactions throughout, one can tell many of these songs were "worked out" on stage. "Lost" is the longest track (10:36) but moves organically from vocal to solos to "trading 4s" and has such a vitality you forget that the lyrics tell of woman tired of being used but cannot change. Each member of the group is important to the story, from the sparkling drums to the piano's rippling phrases to the bass solo that brings everyone does to earth and back to the blues. Yet the music can't help but pick up and go back into a romp.
|John Abbott photo|
René Marie closes this recording, arguably her finest, with "Blessings", a musical benediction for the world, filled with joyous wishes for a peaceful life. Baxter's martial drumming is reminiscent of John Robinson's snare work on Steve Winwood's "Back In the High Life Again" in the way the drums support and color the narrative, making sure we pay attention to the singer's message. Do pay attention to "Sound of Red" because your life will be richer and brighter for the experience.
For more information, go to renemarie.com.
Here's René Marie with the band plus Sherman Irby on the title track: