"...She may be the most accomplished interpreter of popular material performing today..."
The New York Times
Marlene's 2014 UK Tour
I just returned from her annual UK tour. Following are some of the things the critics said:
"...unerring taste and innate sense of dynamics and pacing..." -- Peter Vacher, Jazzwise Magazine
"...Her superb styling of material, always first class and occasionally offbeat...a distinctive approach with some effective gliding octaves plus crystal-clear delivery." -- www.classicalsource.com
"Ms. VerPlanck's communicative powers go far beyond mere nostalgia. Her delivery is anchored firmly in the present: each song has an immediacy about it, as if its sentiments have occurred to her in the moment." -- Sally Evans Derby, Jazz Journal International
New UK Trip Raves!
Marlene VerPlanck Charms at the Crazy Coqs
"Way back, Pizza on the Park was the go-to place for sophisticated jazz and cabaret. Not anymore. It’s long gone. Now, Crazy Coqs, set deep below Piccadilly and furnished in the kind of Art Deco style that makes you think the Great Gatsby (or possibly Leonardo Di Caprio himself) could walk in any minute, has become the new haven for classy performers who relish its close-to ambience. And for punters who think the same.
"The diminutive songstress Marlene Verplanck was always at home in Pizza on the Park and has built a UK fan-base through her continuing visits here; this week she’s making her debut at Crazy Coqs (she's there through to Saturday 22 March). Happily for those who know her work, her mix of Great American Songbook swingers and plaintive paeans to unrequited love remains both beguiling and yes, life-enhancing. She stands still, is never histrionic, and picks unhackneyed songs by great composers, concentrating on letting the lyrics do their work, telling stories, and allowing us to relish their value. And all with a smile on her face." --Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise Magazine, March 21, 2014
Read entire review.
Ballads… Mostly – Marlene Verplanck at The Crazy Coqs
"Though this is the first appearance by Marlene Verplanck at The Crazy Coqs, she is no stranger to London. Her superb jazz styling of material, always first-class and occasionally offbeat, recalls Blossom Dearie or Peggy Lee, though she has a distinctive approach with some effective gliding octaves plus crystal-clear delivery doing justice to the lyrics. Her current programme includes three numbers each from Irving Berlin and Cy Coleman, with Berlin’s lovely ballad ‘I got lost in his arms’ given its movingly emotional weight, and a number from Call Me Madam, ‘The best thing for you’, prompting a deliciously swinging arrangement. The Coleman selections include two hit-parade numbers that he wrote with Carolyn Leigh, ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Rules of the road’, plus the rarer ‘Why try to change me now?’" -- Tom Vallance, classicalsource.com, March 18, 2014
Read entire review.
Sally Evans-Darby finds Marlene VerPlanck’s Ballads…Mostly set at Crazy Coqs, London to be stamped with the singer’s signature warmth and grace
"After enjoying a happy afternoon at one of Marlene VerPlanck’s lunchtime concerts at Ronnie’s last year, I was keen to catch her again on her annual sojourn in the UK. This time she was making her debut at Crazy Coqs, a new cabaret spot beneath Piccadilly Circus currently boasting an impressive programme of classy performers, including Christine Bovill and Claire Martin. The circular art deco cabaret room itself sports an impressive mirror ceiling that belies the room’s modest size, and tables and chairs are arranged fan-like around the small red-curtained stage, with even the furthest seat against the back wall feeling up-close and personal. Walking into the venue is an uncannily transportive experience; you are immediately plunged into another era.
"Such transportive qualities are the ideal setting for Ms VerPlanck’s music, which with its themes of longing and wistfulness invites the listener to reminisce about times gone by (particularly her melancholic reading of Jack Segal’s noir ballad I Keep Going Back To Joe’s) - but Ms VerPlanck’s communicative powers go far beyond mere nostalgia. For one thing, her delivery is anchored firmly in the present: each song has an immediacy about it, as if its sentiments have occurred to her in the moment, while her two excellent accompanists (John Pearce, piano and Paul Morgan, bass) follow her lead. -- Sally Evans-Darby, Jazz Journal, March 2014
Read entire review.
My latest CD, "Ballads...mostly" has made three top 2013 best ten lists: Nancy Barrel's Radio Show, from NYC, Don Albert, jazz journalist, from South Africa, and it ranked #1 on Joe Lang's "Jazz Journal Association Best of 2013 Vocal CD" Top Ten.You can order the "Ballads...mostly" here.
It's been a very busy 2013, and 2014 shows no sign of slowing down. The US and UK schedules include many different venues: Zedel's in London, Indian Wells, California, Concord Massachusetts, to name a few. Complete details can be found on the Tour Schedule page. We may be very near you this year.
Billy's Scholarship Fund Update
J. Billy VerPlanck Trombone Scholarship Award
Caleb Rumley, student at William Paterson University is the 2013 recipient of The J. Billy VerPlanck, trombone scholarship award.
For more on the scholarship fund, visit Billy's Page.
See Marlene on YouTube!
Check out several videos of her performances here.
This site last updated April 7, 2014