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Marlena Shaw

Marlena Shaw is among the most versatile and charismatic jazz vocalists on the scene today. Her performances are marked by an artful blend of pop standards and straight-ahead jazz tunes. Her extroverted stage presence gives her an edge over other vocalists, and clearly, singing live before an audience is where she feels most comfortable.

After her uncle Jimmy Burgess introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, she caught the jazz bug and purchased records by Al Hibbler, a vocalist who had a big influence on her singing style. When she was ten she performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater, and despite the enthusiastic reception she received in front of one of the world's toughest audiences, her mother refused to let her go on the road with her uncle, a trumpet player. Shaw attended the State Teachers' College in Potsdam, NY, but later dropped out. For some time in 1963 she worked around New England with a trio led by Howard McGhee. By the mid-'60s she was performing regularly for audiences in the Catskills, Playboy clubs, and other New York area clubs. In 1966, she recorded "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" for Cadet Records, and the single sold very well for an unknown singer. The single's success, a rare vocal version of the tune, prompted executives at Cadet to encourage her to record a whole album for the label in 1967. The diversity of styles, including blues, jazz, and pop standards, is reflected in the album's title, Out of Different Bags. Through her accountant, she was brought to the attention of bandleader Count Basie, and she ended up singing with the Basie band for four years.

In 1972, after leaving the Basie Orchestra, Shaw was the first female vocalist signed to Blue Note Records, and she toured for a while with the late Sammy Davis Jr. Shaw recorded five albums and several singles for Blue Note, and critics likened her singing style to Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. At her club shows, Shaw dazzled audiences with her intoxicating blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, pop, and classic R&B, but her recordings will also satisfy fans of traditional jazz who have no prejudices about blues and R&B. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Comments

dyj54
Marlena is still working and as good as ever. Gives her audience her all!!!
Not buying your Dodge Ram
How? Like this, obviously. ...She's amazing.
How is she "on the scene today"
Wow. Okay this is pretty good !

Skipping off a groove ;-)
jclinton59
The Lincoln Lawyer
rcloud0
recently watched a movie with this playing at the end. can't remember the movie. anyone know?
its because someone did a remix of her song california soul
WTF is this s**t? Srsly this is not my punk goes pop, BVB, PTV, or Deadmue5 or Skrillex . What is this crap?
luiscamacho6 0
I get on Deadmau5 station wtf?
Never heard her before, but glad to hear her now!
hadn't heard her but now i intend to hear a lot more of her.
oh snap..loving her voice on California Soul Verve Remix.
I like it
Marlena is a soulful and jazzy singer. She had a song that said "Go away little boy" it was hit in my book!
Saw her at the 18 & Vine Blues and Jazz Festival in Kansas City some years age I love her music especially the cut "Feel Like Making Love"
Marlena Shaw...she had some heat. I have a nice mp3ography of her nicest cuts. Look at Me Look At You
Marlena was a delight to work with. An extremely personable artist with true talent. She made some great albums at Blue Note and Columbia. I wish Pandora had more of her music.
'woman of the ghetto' is an amazing song.
she really is an act to see live. she is a class act. i went to see her in Dallas and she just blew everyone away. her phrasing is great and sense of humor in the music is something to behold. love the lady.
what ever happened to this artist? haven't heard any more of her music

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