By Terry Walstrom
In 2007, RENÉ MARIE retired from her singing career, newly married, content to take root and bask in her private patch of heaven. Ten years later, she sauntered into the Fort Worth Public Library and blew the lid off– like Moses dazzling Pharoah’s magicians with a lesson in what real magic is all about.
If I hadn’t been there, I’d have missed the time of my life. But I was, and I’m here to tell you what you missed.
First, let me excite your curiosity. Ok?
What is it like to stand in the eye of the hurricane?
RENÉ MARIE is the hurricane, the force of nature, the wild wind swirling about you, unsettling everything you’ve ever known or seen or felt, leaving in her wake an impossible experience to sort thru or explain to yourself and others.
She is an Experiment in Truth.
Robert Schumann once wrote, “Hat’s off Gentlemen, a genius!” and Frederick Chopin was the target of his worship. Now I’m here to exclaim no less admiration or gobsmacked awe in honor of Rene’ Marie and her Experiment in Truth.
Beethoven sounds different to the ear than Mozart, just as the prose of Jean Paul differs from that of Goethe. Rene’ Marie is better and different from the best for being original; creating more wonder than wonderful allows. Her trio soared splendidly with creative verve and impetuous vigor infusing so much joy, Marie broke out in laughter time and again.
So did we all.
Rene’ Marie… is the brunt crash of a mighty tsunami gathering force way back in the wine dark sea of Ella, Holliday, Nancy Wilson, Etta James, Sade…and Boom! goes the dynamite! (Yes, I mixed my metaphor. Sue me.)
There is a naked truth in Rene’ Marie, in her sanity-fueled madness; in the expose’ of her life experiences nested like Russian dolls inside each musical phrase and nuance and expostulation.
She composes her songs the way a mother forms the child in the womb. She sculpts the light and the shadows, the form and the functions of architecture standing majestic and bold as her lyric unravels and the saga begins.
On Rene’ Marie’s Facebook page she tells you about a pair of red shoes she once saw in Paris. Her rapture became a song with this phrase:
SUCH A RARE FLOWER IN BLOOM
SHE’S A CONUNDRUM, A RIDDLE. SHE’S A PUZZLE, A PUN
SHE DON’T PLAY SECOND FIDDLE TO ANYONE
NOT WHILE SHE’S WEARING THOSE RED SHOES” …
At the Central Library in downtown Ft. Worth last night, Thursday, May 18, 2017, the first free jazz concert of the season introduced me to Rene’ Marie.
The audience jumped to its feet and clamored for “just one more” and I know why because I was there.
If you weren’t, you missed lightning in a bottle, electrification of your soul, a sizzle that never fizzled, a little sumpin’- sumpin’ I’ll be thinking about for years to come.
Don’t miss these concerts! This is the 8th season. Each of them is one of a kind.
Thanks to Leslie Oliver and The Fort Worth Public Library foundation.
2017 JJA Jazz Awards for Musical Achievement
Female singer of the year: Rene’ Marie.