Related Reviews
The Arts Desk
4 Stars
'Onomatopoeic delights and acerbic wit from top-drawer duo.'
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In Tune
'...offers something of a lustrous new most effective luscious sound for Claire..."My Ship" (Weill/Gershwin) from Broadway's 1941 "Lady In The Dark" never fails to amaze and thrill. Here in the hands of Ms. Martin it's given a superb sobering treatment as only she can deliver.'
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Blogcritics
'Time and Place is Claire Martin at the top of her game.'
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London Jazz
'...a wondrous collection of old and new songs...[with] an outstanding band.'
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Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
'The hallmark of a great Claire Martin album is always the excellent arrangements, and in combination with superb playing and Linn's magnificent sound,Time & Place does not disappoint - this may be her very best album yet.'
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Choice Magazine
'An album full of delights and surprises.'
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Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
'...there's tons of class throughout Time and Place. Half the intrigue lies in exactly that, the blend of the genteel with the git-down, the acumen in conflating two worlds to come up with a third...'
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Daily Info, Oxford
‘Tonight's was a programme I wasn't expecting; nonetheless, I melted into its warm, soothing embrace, and I'll be dancing in the dark for a few hours yet.’
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Le BabillART
'Claire Martin créée une infusion de son magique de la musique jazz de chambre à partir d'un groupe éclectique d'auteurs-compositeurs.'
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The Sunday Times
‘She's Leaving Home is a match for Lennon and McCartney's original. Martin has never sounded more authoritative.’
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BebopSpokenHere
'Last night at Sage Gateshead was superb and so was Claire, cellos notwithstanding, she gave a professional performance that clarified her position as numero uno.'
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WBGO Radar
'The cabaret song [Goodbye For Now], performed with just voice and piano, is a fitting tribute to Bennett, and captures Martin's spirit at its best: she is wistfully clear-eyed and optimistic as only those who have truly lived can be.'
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Jazz History Online
'As with all of Martin's recordings, the audio quality is exceptional...'
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The Guardian
4 Stars
'[Claire] has rarely sounded so commanding and moving...'
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BBC Radio 2 'Clare Teal'
'gorgeous album'
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Bop-N-Jazz
5 Stars
'Claire Martin is that rare vocal artist never afraid to push the lyrical envelope!'
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Jazzwise
4 Stars
'Time and Place is one of those rare things: an album of standouts...Bennett's arrangement of album opener ‘My Ship'...is a thing of unfathomable beauty...'
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Mojo
4 Stars
'British Jazz's First Lady innately personalises the songs of Kurt Weill, David Bowie, Thelonious Monk, Richard Rodney Bennett and others.'
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About.com
'Martin's work here is exemplary: rich, romantic, fervent and classy.'
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All About Jazz
4½ Stars
'Few vocalists are as elegant and eloquent as Claire Martin...she's one of the crown jewels of the jazz world.'
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Claire Martin - Time & Place - Deep Roots


24 September 2014
Deep Roots
David McGee

Girls' Night Out, In Style

The Great American Songbook is only gaining more luster as time goes by and contemporary successors to the likes of Rodgers and Hart, Gershwin, Porter, Ellington and Razaf, Mercer, et al. prove elusive. Recently, three gifted vocalists have all taken runs at the Songbook, but at the same time each one is suggesting new songwriter candidates be considered as worthy of being mentioned in the same breath with the aforementioned standard bearers of Songbook excellence...Claire Martin offers a classically flavored, altogether captivating blend of approaches in her ambitious pairing with the Montpellier Cello Quartet.

...

On Time and Place, with the backing of the Montpellier Cello Quartet (as well as piano, bass and drums), Claire Martin, the First Lady of U.K. Jazz, often sounds like the reincarnation of latter-day Rosemary Clooney, who brought the full weight of her life's experiences-especially in romance-to bear on her repertoire (which includes a moving, emotional reading of Ira Gershwin-Kurt Weill's heavily metaphoric personal mission statement "My Ship" as its kickoff tune), adding new layers of meaning to songs more than a half-century old. Lennon-McCartney's "She's Leaving Home," now 47 years of age, is given a scintillating new coat of paint in a moody arrangement by pianist Joe Stilgoe, from which emerges a deliberate vocal reading that heightens the lyrics' evocation of a daughter's tragic alienation from her selfish, clueless parents, as the piano adds a bluesy underpinning to Ms. Martin's wounded vocal. A clever reshaping occurs in David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World." Here, the rock elements of the original are discarded in favor of dark, "Eleanor Rigby"-like strings and a pronounced Latin underpinning, producing tension between the lively samba and the heralding strings, all supporting Ms. Martin's clarion vocal (Gareth Williams has a terrific romping piano solo near the end as well), guaranteed to inspire a fresh perspective on this intriguing entry from the Thin White Duke. On an album with so many moods, one of the most revealing occurs on Joni Mitchell's "Two Grey Rooms." In this arrangement by composer Mark Anthony Turnage (commissioned by Ms. Martin), the mood hews closely to the despair in Ms. Mitchell's original, but with the Cello Quartet's swirl of deep moans in the background Ms. Martin's tone of restrained disgust at the folly of her obsession with a lost lover is the start of a healing process, in sharp contrast to the original's entrenched misery. On a lighter note, Richard Rodney Bennett, a long-time collaborator with Ms. Martin, contributes "Early to Bed," a lighthearted swinger with a freewheeling vocal and brisk arrangement fueled by sparkling piano runs (by Joe Stilgoe) and upbeat acoustic bass fills courtesy Jeremy Brown. Ms. Martin chooses another Bennett tune, the reflective piano-based ballad "Goodbye for Now" (a co-write with Charles Hart), as her sign-off here, singing warmly over the sensitive 88s, "To those of you I leave behind/I hope and pray that you may find/some pleasure and some peace of mind/in all that follows here..." It's actually a last will and testament, the lyrics expressing the singer's wish for the distribution of her personal effects, both physical and metaphysical, but in this context it's akin to a review of the emotional landscape she's traversed on Time & Place.

Ms. Martin's many admirers will not be surprised by the impact she makes with her cool approach, and newcomers to her art will find a reason to believe.


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Claire MartinClaire Martin
Joe StilgoeJoe Stilgoe
Montpellier Cello QuartetMontpellier Cello Quartet
Time & PlaceTime & Place