It's too easy to ogle singer Maryann Price's re'sume' and forget her voice. In 1969 she lent her distinctive vocals to the jazzy sound of San Francisco's Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks.
"We were just blatantly flaunting our freak flag," she says. "We were trying to be badder than anyone else -- and we were getting away with it!" Five years later, the group disbanded, she answered Ray Davies' call to come to England, where she recorded and toured with the Kinks.
But it has been her voice, after all, that has taken the Baltimore native coast to coast. Her smooth, sweet voice has sung jingles, Latin hymns, '50s rock, swing and Motown. "I like being able to be a chameleon," she says, noting that growing up in Baltimore exposed her to a broad range of sounds, like the music of Detroit and New York, southern hillbilly, spirituals and country-western.
Today, she leads a quartet in her favorite type of music, '30s and '40s jazz. In Sophisticated Swing, she performs with other area natives: Tony Bellasai on upright and electric bass, Sean McCall on drums and vibraphone and David Shapiro on guitar. They do songs by Fats Waller and Louis Jordan, some old Dan Hicks favorites, like "I'm an Old Cowhand From the Rio Grande," as well as some of Hicks' new, unrecorded songs.
Sophisticated Swing performs at 10 p.m. on Saturday at d.c. space. Call 347-1445.