Four songbirds and two piano players over at MAXJAZZ…

Carla CookRené MarieMary StallingsLaverne Butler

Every now and then, you go to the record store and pick an album just because the cover looks good and gives you the vibe that it sounds even better. This is how I was introduced to MAXJAZZ vocalist René Marie on her debut release “How Can I Keep From Singing” in 2001. Later that year, I received a MAXJAZZ Vocal Series sampler which began my love affair with this record label. I have since enjoyed the recordings of Carla Cook, René Marie, Laverne Butler, Mary Stallings, Mulgrew Miller and Jessica Williams. I got to see René Marie perform last summer at the Monterey Jazz Festival and met her after the show. She was very warm and personable. I am only mentioning six of the wonderful artists at MAXJAZZ but I definitely think this label is one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. Their artists are true to their craft and take their time in making a quality product. The black and white cover photography is attractive and lends to the beauty and uniqueness of the recordings. I am not going to lavish much more praise on these artists for I want you to go over to MAXJAZZ and experience them for yourself. You will definitely hear that good music awaits you. Enjoy!
My favorites from the MAXJAZZ catalog:
Carla Cook
“Dem Bones”
“All About Love”
“Simply Natural”
René Marie
“How Can I Keep From Singing?”
“Live At Jazz Standard”
(released on 4/22)
Laverne Butler
“A Foolish Thing To Do”
“Blues In The City”
Mary Stallings
“Live At The Village Vanguard”
Jessica Williams
“This Side Up”
“All Alone”
Mulgrew Miller and Wingspan
“The Sequel”

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