René Marie and Allan Harris with the Music of Holiday and Strayhorn at the Kennedy Center
René Marie and Allan Harris team up to perform great music from two legends, Billie Holiday and Billy Strayhorn, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Joining them is Musical Director Eric Reed on piano, Keter Betts on bass, and Tim Horner on drums.
René Marie's love for music can be traced back to her childhood. She taught herself to read music when she was nine and performed in clubs by the time she was seventeen. Her career was put on hold for twenty years while she raised two children. When she reentered the music world in 1996, she quickly met success and recorded her first CD two years later.
On this JazzSet, René Marie performs songs made famous by Billie Holiday. René Marie's arrangement of Holiday's song about the terror of lynching, "Strange Fruit," opens with an a cappella "Dixie," and is a powerful and original statement.
Allan Harris lives in the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Harlem, where Duke Ellington and his musical partner, Billy Strayhorn, once lived. Inspired by their music, Allan selected his favorites a few years ago and recorded a CD (with Eric Reed) entitled Love Came: The Songs of Strayhorn. At the Kennedy Center, he sings the range of Billy Strayhorn's pieces, from "My Little Brown Book," to "Chelsea Bridge." His smooth voice fits Strayhorn's sometimes casual, sometimes passionate, songs.
Lover Man (written by James Edward Davis, Roger J. Ramirez, and James Sherman)
Them There Eyes (written by Maceo Pinkard, Doris Tauber, and William G. Tracey)
Good Morning Heartache (written by Ervin M. Drake, Dan Fisher, and Irene Higginbotham)
Strange Fruit (written by Allan Lewis)
My Little Brown Book
Something to Live For
Rene Marie/Allan Harris
Take the A Train
René Marie Official Web site
Allan Harris Official Web site
The Kennedy Center Web site
Field Producer: Njemile Carol Jones
Music recorded by: Greg Hartman, Big Mo with Chris Weal
Remix engineer: Duke Markos
Writer/Producer: Becca Pulliam
This program was conceived and produced by Derek Gordon of Kennedy Center Jazz.
Thanks to Kevin Struthers.
Copyright 2007 NPR