The Amphere Club
This past Sunday Evening, April, 26, 2016, Marla Glen performed at the Amphere Club at the Muffathalle in Munich. For those of you who’ve never seen or heard of this talented African-American legend—20 years living in Germany—you’ll get a taste of her on stage uniqueness here on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BedarATHtE0. (I recorded part of last nights performance, but the file size is too large to upload.)
At the start of the concert, Marla paid tribute to Nina Simone for the time she spent with her, in France, as her protégé. There is a hint of Nina‘s imprint in Marla’s stage presence and phrasing. Watching Marla’s effortless engagement with her audience, ranging in age from young adults to senior citizens, is equalled to her Renaissance-woman like performance. She smiles, laughs and story tells all the while she craftily wafts through her songs. Her voice is sometimes a clear alto; other times delivering a vocal range often reminiscent of Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops; and then again smokey. Marla’s musical tastes avoids typecasting her. Her ballads span the spectrum: Blues, Rock, Funk, Country and Soul delivered in her own “Workin’ for the Music” style. Marla played the Harmonica; playfully beat away at an African Drum; and revisited playing the guitar.
Marla was accompanied by a “trio/quartet”: one of the backup singers (Cattie) also played a mean saxophone and flute; (Amaca), the other singer, classically trained, treated the audience to an operatic solo that resulted in shouts pleading for more. The concert ended only after two “zu gabe” (encores).
Marla hasn’t performed in the United States for a very long time—she thinks her time to do so may be now at hand. Marla’s theme “Workin’ for the Music”—left no one in the Amphere Club’s audience to doubt her sincerity.