Marjorie Barnes

Artist/Band: Marjorie Barnes with The Paul McIntyre Trio
Release date: 2017/05/02
Venue: Arthur's Blues n Jazz Club
Reviewer name: Grainne Farren

The American singer Marjorie Barnes made a single appearance in Dublin, following her performance at the City of Derry Jazz Festival. Backing her on 2 May in Arthur’s Blues and Jazz Club were Paul McIntyre (piano), Kevin Brady (drums) and Dave Fleming (double bass). 

‘So in Love’ was her animated opening number. ‘Street of Dreams’ began as a slow ballad, accompanied only by McIntyre on the splendid grand piano. Then she speeded it up to an exuberant mid-tempo with the trio providing solid support.

 Announcing the next number, she said that, while her native New York was known as the Big Apple, another part of the USA was called the Big Peach. This was her introduction to ‘Georgia’, long associated with Ray Charles. She transformed it into her own style, with the pianist contributing a nice bluesy solo.

Paul McIntyre

Marjorie Barnes is an ebullient singer who favours up-tempo tunes. She has a powerful voice and puts her heart and soul into everything she sings. Her diction is precise and her mike technique spot-on. She was full of praise for the Irish trio, and seemed especially impressed by Dave Fleming, whose spare bass accompaniment enhanced ‘Time After Time’ and ‘I Love the Blues’. Northerner Paul McIntyre showed a great affinity with the two Dublin musicians, notably in an instrumental number by Charles Mingus, ‘Nostalgia in Times Square’.

The warmth of the singer’s personality shone through songs as different as Abbey Lincoln’s ‘Throw it Away’, Cole Porter’s ‘Love for Sale’ and the Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash classic ‘Speak Low’. She got the audience going in a ‘call-and-response’ treatment of ‘In a Mellow Tone’, and her encore, ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’, left us all in a good mood.


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