Related Reviews
The International Review of Music
'A versatile performer with the capacity to find the inner life of whatever she sings.'
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Sound Stage Experience
4½ Stars
'...this disc proves she has arrived as an impeccable master artist and one of the greatest living voices in jazz.'
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Next Magazine
'...Martin is a wonderful interpreter who's perfectly paired with Bennett...'
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Home Theater Sound
5 Stars
"...their partnership has created a rare and special collaboration where the superlative product is truly more than the sum of its parts."
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Cabaret Scenes
'Both performers have flair for phrasing. Arrangements are refined and interesting.'
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Jazz Times
'When Britain's foremost jazz singer meets the island's most imaginative composer, the outcome is always stellar.'
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The Wall Street Journal
'The result is a kind of perfection...'
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New York Times
'...Martin, whose renditions...revealed the heart of a saloon torch beating inside the chipper jazz playmate.'
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In Tune International
'...perfect combination of singer and pianist...'
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MusicWeb International
"The collaboration between Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett works superbly."
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Record Collector
4 Stars
"The blend is attractive and oddly harmonious."
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The Walman Report / Culinary Gourmet
'Martin is a seasoned vocalist/performer and the end result is uniquely original.'
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Jersey Jazz
"...an album that is a sheer delight from start to finish."
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The Irish Times
"...plenty of wit and wordplay for the duo to savour, Martin is impeccable..."
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BBC Music Magazine
'...near-perfect match of singer and accompanist...'
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The Yorkshire Post
"Here's a lovely record...Martin is excellent throughout"
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Theater Mania
"...her smokey voice caresses the composer's melodies."
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The Observer
"...touching, clever, beautifully poised and deceptively casual-sounding."
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The Times
4 Stars
'Martin's jazz virtuosity adds another dimension. When her honeyed timbre slips into the lower register she captures the romance of a Ben Webster tenor solo.'
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LondonJazz
'Claire Martin, both in the duo setting and in front of the chamber group made each song, each moment come to life.'
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O's Place Jazz Magazine
'It is a pleasure to listen to!'
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North London News
'...a tempting mélange of the familiar and the under-visited...'
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The Scotsman
"Martin's beautifully delivered interpretations are spot-on whatever the mood of the song..."
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Scotland on Sunday
4 Stars
"...a joy to hear."
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London Jazz
'...her intimate, deceptively unfussy vocal style perfectly complemented by his flawlessly eloquent piano.'
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Jazzwise
4 Stars
'...every one is a small gem.'
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Jazz Journal
'...the result is one timeless version of a song after another...Unequivocally recommended.'
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Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett - Live Review - The New York Observer


08 June 2011
The New York Observer
Rex Reed

The New York cabaret season is humming to a close, but before waxing that bikini line and heading for the beach, take note: The big rooms are saving the best for last.

The finale for the Algonquin's august Oak Room season features music so sublime it must not be missed. A whole night of Irving Berlin, sung to perfection by England's best young jazz singer, Claire Martin, accompanied by the incomparable, knowledgeable and knighted Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. Ms. Martin looks, at some angles, like Jodie Foster, and when she stamps gorgeous movie songs like "Better Luck Next Time" (from Easter Parade) and "Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me" (from White Christmas) with her own special patina, you know she's on friendly terms with the cinema. Berlin wrote 15,000 songs in his salad days, so you can do only so much in a one-hour cabaret show. But when this dazzling Dreamsicle covers the territory, it stays covered.

Of course, it wouldn't be Berlin without celebrating his favorite singer, Fred Astaire-their careers were so intrinsically linked. Sometimes Mr. Bennett joins Ms. Martin in inspired duets like "Let's Face the Music and Dance" and "Let Yourself Go," sounding like two Astaires instead of one. They both love to explore seldom-heard songs off the beaten track. From the Broadway show Louisiana Purchase, Ms. Martin breathes fresh oxygen into the obscure but haunting "Fools Fall in Love," and on an old Alice Faye favorite, "He Ain't Got Rhythm," Mr. Bennett really hits his stride. With his conversational reading of "Say It Isn't So," he reaches the apex of his own musical imagination, and his arrangement of "What'll I Do?" builds a rueful introspection for Ms. Martin's voice to bask in. What a great way to wind up the season. They are to songs what sugar and cream are to coffee. With Claire Martin, Richard Rodney Bennett and Irving Berlin, sophistication is guaranteed. The burnished wood under the muted lights of the Oak Room glows as much as the audience.


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