Maria Neckam
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Maria Neckam

Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter

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"Maryland (featuring Maria Neckam)"

During a recent trip to New York, I wandered into the cellar of an Italian eatery just off Washington Square, where I was fortunate to discover an enigmatic young singer-composer named Maria Neckam. It wasn't just the unaffected clarity or refreshing timbre of her voice, nor her remarkable range that captured my imagination; it was the fearless integrity of her musical ideas.

A Viennese expatriate who now calls Brooklyn home, Maria has broken the mold in many ways, and admits that people either love or hate her voice. I would say that, if you have an extensive Britney Spears record collection, you're not likely to be a huge fan. For the rest of us, there's no denying the purity of her pipes or the control of her technique. The tone of her voice suggests a violin with a hint of soprano sax coloration and no hint of affectation. She writes quirky, provoking, poetic lyrics. Some of her compositions have a decided Weill-Brechtian flavor, as if written for a 21st-century Threepenny Opera.

This particular track offers a wistful, spirited head over a Latin 5/4 feel with tasty Indian tabla texturing. There are no lyrics to divert attention from her unique voice as it glides above a Lydian dreamscape, backed by an assured, tight group of multinational musicians. The recording is vibrant, the playing strong and intuitively supportive.

"How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?" wrote Oscar Hammerstein about another Austrian songbird named Maria. The answer is simply…don't. Just open your mind and enjoy. - jazz.com, by Bill Barnes


"Maria Neckam's Maryland"

Maria Neckam can sound like Flora Purim to Franz von Chossy's Chick Corea, but she's working on many other levels, from Björk and Urszula Dudziak to Astrud Gilberto, Basia and any number of classically trained vocalists. Her supple, reedy voice hits the notes clearly and has that wonderful quality of articulating syllables as notes rather than words, turning even standards into wordless vocals. Neckam writes impressively in English and her native tongue. "Crossing and Blending" is an ambitious debut that ranges through the breadth of her stylistic tropes and suggests that she's going to be a special voice. - Off Beat Magazine, by John Swenson


"Review of "Crossing and Blending""

"Her genre is difficult to define in a few words, and that is already a good sign in the field of vocal jazz, where practically everything has already been said."

"This is a singer that polarizes, that has the appeal of the unforeseen, the sounds that other vocalists do not have."

"... in her sketches of everyday stories there is always that flash, that plus that makes the difference, beyond make up or media promotion."

"Even this mental flexibility, this approach of the pop genre by people with a real musical culture makes this recording more and more intriguing with every listening."

-Vittorio Lo Conte - All About Jazz Italia


Discography

Maryland: "Crossing and Blending"
Maria Neckam & Mika Pohjola: "Das Wörterbuch"

Photos

Bio

Maria Neckam is a singer and songwriter from New York, who was born in Austria and has also lived in the Netherlands. When Maria moved to New York in 2005, she hit the music scene like lightning. Since then she has been working as one of the most innovative musicians on the scene. Her compositions are as diverse as life's surprises, combining elements of Rock, Drum 'n' Bass and Modern Jazz as well as Indian and Western Classical music. Maria often tours the United States and Europe from her home base in Brooklyn.
Maria's new album "Deeper" will be released on February 16, 2010, on Sunnyside Records.