Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Maryann Price - Singin' with a Swing
Larry D | Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ms. Price is a former "Lickette" in the classic 70's lineup of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks - she duets with Hicks on "What About the Sugar" and covers three of his tunes here. Her voice is a sweet jazz mezzo with a nifty little vibrato (sort of a Benzedrine June Christy) and she possesses a flawless sense of swing. Highlights of a CD with no lowlights include Hicks' "Texas Kind of Attitude" (love the sample of "Sh-Boom" by The Chords at the end) and Dave Frischberg's "Z's" (about a lady in desperate need of some shut-eye -- "dig these satchels underneath my eyeballs"). The instrumental backing, mostly small-combo, is supurb. The whole operation swings like I didn't think people knew how anymore. Buy this record -- trust me!"
Art, Not Artifice - The Hottest Lickette Goes Solo
Curly Q. Link | Somewhere Out There | 07/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One fine evening in the early 1970's, I tuned in to a progressive, wonderfully eclectic radio station, WBCN-FM in Boston. A quirky little string band was shuffling through a spoofy Western swing tune, with lead vocals by a young lady whose unique, sultry voice at once projected swing, droll humor, ultra-hipness, and obvious musical know-how. The band was San Francisco's Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, the song was "I'm An Old Cowhand" (a Johnny Mercer number from the '30's), and the singer was MaryAnn Price.
Sold after about 4 bars, I ran out next day to buy whatever LP's could be had from this swell outfit, and 30+ years have not tarnished my enjoyment of their music a bit. But it was MaryAnn Price's vocal that grabbed me, and though she was mainly featured as a backup singer together with sister "Lickette" Naomi Eisenberg, it's no coincidence that the albums she performed on ("Where's The Money?", "Striking It Rich", "Last Train To Hicksville") are considered the finest in the Dan Hicks catalog. After the original Hot Licks disbanded in 1973, MaryAnn moved on to other gigs, including stints recording and touring with The Kinks, Texas swing band Asleep at the Wheel, and others.
A wannabe cowgirl since childhood, she relocated to Austin, TX in the '80's, and has built up her own following performing in the Live Music Capital.
After over 20 years of paying dues, MaryAnn Price stepped out on her own with "Etched In Swing" in 1993, and to quote the lyric of Dan Hicks' "Waiting For The 103", "...All agree it was worth the wait"! This album is a GEM, one of those rare recordings that satisfies and entertains from beginning to end. While her way-cool vocal on "Sweetheart" from the Hot Licks days gave us a hint of what was to come, "Etched In Swing" truly showcases MaryAnn's phenomenal vocal instrument and stylistic versatlilty, catapulting her into the company of great jazz vocalists such as Sarah Vaughan, Anita O'Day and Annie Ross. As soon as you hit 'play', she comes bopping in with verve and grace, and continues to engage your delighted attention throughout the CD. Hicks' moody bossa-nova "Bottoms Up" gets a superb treatment; the ballad "Sorta Kinda In A Way", with lyrics by MaryAnn, can transport you to an intimate, soulful space, real goosebump stuff if heard on a good stereo; "Drum Boogie", originally done by Gene Krupa with Irene Daye, is perfectly retro, yet with today's sonic clarity; song after song, our ears are treated to a singer who knows how to wrap her velvety voice around a melody and make it her own. And the best part: she always sounds natural, REAL. "Jazz" is a hard thing to define, but one element that seems indispensible to jazz is its honesty, humanity, "realness". Some of today's newbie divas touted as "jazz singers" sound artificial, more like rehearsed Broadway than spontaneous jazz. MaryAnn Price delivers the goods. And lest I forget, the accompanying musicians here are truly top-notch, as are the arrangements.
My sole complaint re: "Etched In Swing" is that it seems to be out of print! I visited MaryAnn's website (maryannprice-dot-com), and it appears that there are still a limited number of new copies left. Do yourself a big favor and grab one while they last! I also highly recommend all of her more recent releases, including the smokin' live set "Hot 'n' Cole" and the superbly-crafted "Jazzland". Whether your tastes lean toward trad jazz, bebop, blues, R & B, Texas swing, boogie-woogie, Latin, or novelty songs, "Etched In Swing" is an album that you'll come back to again & again."