Don't Go to Strangers

Mary Bogue

Who knows how, but Mary snagged the iconic Les McCann as Creative Consultant and Guest Vocalist, the finest L.A. jazz musicians to swing on the standards, blues, and a couple of "message" songs from the 70's, and created a musical masterpiece.

When the great blues diva, Linda Hopkins heard Mary Bogue sing a song of hers, she told everyone around, "You sang that song better than I ever did. You were bluesy and wonderful, and you sang it nice and slow!" High praise from an amazing talent! And when Los Angeles blues mega-talent Barbara Morrison heard Mary belt, she made her one of her "Official Blues Mamas." CabaretScenes Magazine said her performance "nearly blew the roof off with electrifying performance," and referred to her music as sexy and sassy. Holding nothing back, they had previously said "Bogue is a big woman with a big talent — a kind of throwback to the “red-hot mamas” of another era who could belt with the best of them, then pull back and score on a solid heartbreaker of a song." But hey, that was so last week. Check out these liner notes from the extraordinary L.A. Jazz Program Host, Bubba Jackson of KKJZ FM88.1 and make up your own mind.

"Passion comes from a personal wellspring of emotional feeling about something, something that comes from deep inside of you and finds its way to your voice. That voice is Mary Bogue. Mary’s selection of tunes are portraits of times gone by, yet they live in her positive attitude about “something” that sets her free; free to embrace life and what it brings. She has lived a remarkable life with her feet planted firmly on planet earth.

On the journey to this release she was no stranger to the world of film, TV and then art. (Her portrayal of Mae West is astounding.) Mary and her late husband shared a dream. When it ended she climbed out of her grief and learned to embrace life through oil paints. This was just the beginning of her passage in the world of art. Her imaginative paintings and watercolors have done her well. Then, just as she picked up her brushes, Ms. Bogue picked up the microphone to sing. And sing she did! That musical journey has been remarkable. In a short period of time the Los Angeles jazz scene found a great new voice in town and embraced her with a lot of love.

Mary is a reflection of the Ladies of Jazz who set the bar with distinction. Each song mirrors her love of musical standards that swings and rejoices in the blues. Songs that are standards like “Don’t Go to Strangers,” “Mood Indigo” and “Black Coffee/Heartbreak Hotel” have become Mary’s “tour de force,” drenched in a healthy appreciation of the blues. She approaches her songs with a fresh understanding of the lyrics. I quote, "...Hell, I didn't just sing “Heartbreak Hotel,” I was a resident!” And you will enjoy her seductive rendering of the title track. Listen to the call and response with Les McCann on “Hot, Strong & Black,” and feel her humor. Mary Bogue is a compilation of yesterday’s divas swinging today in real time. She is the real deal!

She is supported by artists who swing with a down home sense of the jazz vernacular. Karen Hernandez with her piano solo on the title track amazes, while Nolan Shaheed on flugelhorn and trumpet transcends the sky on “Sack Full Of Dreams.” Rickey Woodard’s solo on “Blue Champagne” floats on a cloud. Add the masterful licks of bassists Jim DeJulio and Lou Shoch, drummer Jack LeCompte, and other fine artists - all guided by gifted producer, arranger and pianist Steve Rawlins and creative consultant Les McCann – and, well, you can hear their chemistry.

Mary Bogue came to this CD with a vision. She built her dream to the jazz stars long enough to realize they have no expiration dates. Says Mary, “Once you share a dream, you’re no longer strangers – only like-spirited souls who have yet to meet.” “Don’t Go To Strangers” is a modern-day journey back to that place in time when we shared hope, peace, and love and dared to dream for the ultimate good of everyone. Enjoy this dream come true! " Bubba Jackson Program Host KKJZ FM88.1 BWB Breezin’ With Bubba

Well, there you have it. You might want to buy your own copy and a spare. Just sayin'.

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