Every artist gets to record a special album, one that either defines their work or moves them up into the "A" list of their genre, and this is Claire Martin's. Too Much In Love To Care teams our finest UK jazz vocalist with a blue chip US band, some superb, timeless, songs from the Great American Songbook, and the result is spectacular.
Underpinning the material throughout is the wonderful, melodic playing of pianist Kenny Barron. Here, he is the perfect accompaniest to Claire Martin through a range of moods and settings, never too intrusive, never too much in the background - just perfect. "A time for love" is perhaps the standout track on the album, but there are no duff songs here, so everyone will probably select a favourite or two.
What makes this such a fine, career-defining album? I don't think Claire Martin has ever sounded better - she covers a range of emotions without ever sounding phoney or over-the-top, and it's this honesty that makes the song sound authentic. Despite the fact that the Great American Songbook is perhaps over-familiar to lovers of jazz vocals, there are new things to be heard in these interpretations. The musicianship from everyone is superb, and the Linn Records attention to sound brings out every nuance. It's hard to believe that an artist this talented sometimes plays live gigs at half-empty provincial venues - simply a crime.
Hopefully, with the release of this wonderful new album, Claire Martin will garner even more praise - and audience attention. She is far and away the finest vocalist working in the genre today; much better than some big-name US stars of the moment. As one of the lyrics on offer here states, an "under-rated treasure". An essential purchase.
on 24 November 2012
I have listened to about all of Claire Martin's albums and when I recently heard one track off this one, I just had to get it. She has developed so much expression and sensitivity for putting across a song. There is now a silky quality a bit like Ella and the ability to improvise over a number of notes like Sarah (without sounding a tad inebriated!), but it is still very much Claire Martin as a really affecting performer. Live shows will be yet the better for this.
Kenny Barron's piano work is also a joy, clever, fluent but not intruding and an object lesson in how to do it. I cannot imagine any other pianist doing as well. Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums and the Steve Wilson on sax and flute maintain the ultra high standard.
Yes, you should get this one!
on 8 June 2012
I've also been listening to Claire Martin for well over 10 years and this is by far her best work so far. I've always liked her singing so when i saw the songs she'd picked for this one, i knew we were all in for a treat, they just don't write songs like this anymore. I just hope she continues to sing "the great american songbook" on all her future almums. Nice one Claire.