World Art Celebrities Journal
The International Voice of World's Arts, Culture, Music & Entertainment
November 2003 Issue
In This Issue:
The French Cabaret from the 17th Century to Present
Meet Wynne Alexander: The Diva who makes you think!
The American Divas of the Ring
Gospel Music in America
The Musical Treasure of Maestra Alexander
Who is Wynne Alexander? A Phenomenon! A Rare Treasure.
Written by Maximillien de Lafayette, Paris, France - October 26, 2003
Rating: One of the best CDs of the Year!
Valerie Constand got a copy of Ms. Wynne Alexander's CD. She asked me to listen to it and tell her what I think. Humbly, I am requesting Ms. Alexander forgiveness for not being familiar with her work, music and songs. Valerie insisted and defenseless, I succumbed to her wish. Apparently Valerie was impressed by the talent of Ms. Alexander. So I ordered one espresso, got comfy and began to listen to the music of Ms. Alexander.
Usually, critics give a compliment to an artist when they state: " You feel as if she (any artist) is singing or playing just for you!" That is fine. I did not feel that way upon listening to Ms. Alexander's music. Instead, I felt as if Wynne and I were playing the piano and singing together for the whole world to hear us. I wanted so much to melt in her music, presence, magical virtuosic hands escapade, and be part of each of her whispers, murmurs, stormy voice and delicately elegant musicality.
Wynne calls her music "Cosmopolitan Rock". I call it a rosary of glittering beads of virtuosity, warmth, elegance and beauty. Human, very human. Celestial in its musical evocation, yet down to earth and explosive in its delivery. Her style is a bouquet of refined sophistication and a mad volcano of emotions and daring intimacy. I have never seen Ms. Alexander performing on stage. However, I have the precognitive feeling that this lady will embellish, revolutionize, caress, mesmerize the stage... and will run with it.
Wynne Alexander is powerful!
The Inner Persona of Wynne Alexander. Who is this Mysterious Woman?
"She has been compared to Cole Porter, Bonnie Raitt, Gershwin and Marlene Dietrich, even got B. B .King's endorsement." This is what you see and what you read every time you log on any of Ms. Alexander's sites or any site posted by fans and music executives or distributors. On the surface, this analogy appears to be a compliment or a stamp of recognition caused by critics and music lovers. To me, this is a banal cliché.
Ms. Alexander should not be compared to anybody. This woman is multi-dimensional and marvelously innovative in her music interpretation, musicality illustration, deep enigmatic voice, piano elegant performance imbibed with personal experience and daring look at the universe which surrounds her and which expands to absorb the unseen. A metaphoric visualization of her own world. Wynne lives in her own world, a "somewhere dimension" which is not accessible to "common depiction" of a standards performer. Being an intelligent woman, a lyricist, a piano virtuosa, an existentialist thinker throwing her shadow on the streets of Philadelphia, this woman comes strong and powerful on the piano bar scene and cabaret nightspots. Alexander is one of the most intriguing, intellectual, intelligent, honest, realistic and truthful performers in America. It does not matter whether she is famous to the masses or unknown to inhabitants of world music. This woman is a monument. She is powerful. Once, you feel the depth, the substance and bitter reality of life in her songs, you will realize that Ms. Alexander is larger than life and you need to be part of her expanding universe. Alexander is not Jennifer Lopez or a Las Vegas vain superstar. Alexander is a woman who knew and experienced life. And this is why we go to cabaret. She is "real life". She is the real thing in motion, in poesy, in delightful madness and in music.
Maestra Alexander wrote: "I exist in myself", she agrees, "I'm more unfettered than most, yet I have to live with everyone's opinions. I've heard people say I write male. I've heard people say I play like a black man. And that's an enormous compliment, but what I think they're talking about is strength. You don't have to be male to be strong...I know how intrigued men and women are when they watch me play. When I'm up at the piano- 'attack, attack, attack'-I give the lie to the myth that female players aren't compellingly strong." In her words, you can feel the poesy, the intellectual revolution, the free-spirited explosive woman, the poetess and the delightful sentimental anarchist.
You cannot stereotype her music. For its escapes from your heart... flirts with your daring thoughts and wishes you sweet dreams... Here music is larger than life...
But this anarchy is an infusion, explosion and reunion of the mystic and the blaze, the dramatic and the real, the esthetic and the pragmatic. It is a delightful artistic, half divine half human anarchy and I want to be part of it.
You cannot define the style of Wynne. She is already beyond dogmatic definitions. She has already traversed the bridge of musical epistemology. She is glittering on the top of the hill, and those who are still searching for words and fancy phrases to describe her art are left far behind. Usually, we listen to a certain kind or genre of music in virtue of our emotional needs, state of mind and or to create a mood to sink in, to sail in and to live from within. With Maestra and Diva Alexander, the mood is already set for you. And you sit for long time listening to her, for her interpretation of music is unorthodox, complex but not complicated, romantic but not out of style, tender but not weak... .and all of a sudden, waves of powerful strokes of music and unconventional, powerful and progressive musicality avalanches roll in your direction and take you by storm. This woman is delightful and musically dangerous!
And you become totally taken by her avalanche of inner feelings, exploding emotions, yet, the very sophisticated and tender Wynne Alexander is gently sitting besides you, emanating affection, tenderness and warm friendship. So, don't ask me how would I define or label her style. She is too noble to be classified and indexed under titles and labels. Her music is transcendental in modernism, liberalism, conservatism, existentialism and romanticism. Wynne's CD is a treasure. A rare treasure.
I discovered a practical diva. Back in her hometown, not on mountain Olympus but, where she came from, they still call her Wynne Alexander...
I love a lot of things about this mesmerizing lady. Firstly, her music. Secondly, her way of life, the way she thinks, illustrates the world on her tragicomic canvas, on the stretched field of her universe... Read this. This is what she wrote: "We could be talking about Black Folks in America, Armenians in Turkey, Turks in Germany, Muslims in Sri Lanka, Jews in Europe, or Gays anywhere. We have numerous examples throughout the history of mankind of a majority imposing its opinion and will on a 'smaller' community. The majority sets the agenda, then labels and hails the heroes. And so today someone says 'she's so good, she plays like a man'-and tomorrow they'll just say-'she's so good.'
Romantic? She is! A deep thinker? Most certainly! Practical and understanding? Read what she said: "My father used to talk about Rome before it fell and the addle-pated, syphilitic generals who oversaw the demise," she laughs. "At WDAS I learned about the reality of how good music gets on the air, which doesn't exist anymore. I worked at a very special place. There were actually talented people who cared about what they played. And in their way they were nurturing. A lot of acts- hundreds and hundreds over the years- came through that radio station getting the breaks they needed. So I saw what it's supposed to look like, when you really have big talent. Doors are supposed to crack open for you. That big undeniable talent used to mean something. And unfortunately, I understand that's just about dead almost everywhere."
Wynne made friends everywhere. Some of her buddies are world celebrities, to name a few: Muhammed Ali, B.B. King, Coretta Scott King, etc... Did I forget to mention that Wynne Alexander is a soaring voice for justice, human dignity and fairness?! She is ! And all these honorable virtues come to life in her music.
Final Thoughts: Wynne Alexander's CD is a music treasure. A trilogy of human depth, innovative musicality and a captivating mood setter. Buy it. You will enjoy it for years to come. Two thumbs up!