Related Reviews
Jersey Jazz
'Martin has a distinctive, rich and sensual voice that lends a special flavor to anything she chooses to sing. Barron is an accompanist supreme, finding just the right notes to enhance Martin's vocalizing.'
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Ultra Audio
4½ Stars
Recording of the Month: 'In some tunes it's just Martin and Barron, voice and piano working hand in glove to create some amazingly intimate moments.'
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In Tune International
'...this must rate as one of Claire's best albums.'
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Audiophile Audition
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'From the stylistic, “cool” jazz of the quartet to the assured, versatile singing, all of the pieces fit intuitively.'
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Jazz History Online
One of the Best Albums of 2012: 'heartfelt delivery'
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Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'This is her album, and her vocal chemistry is felt in the way she engages with every one of the 13 songs.'
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Winnipeg Free Press
4 Stars
'Martin is a great, expressive singer who makes these standards shine...'
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Record Collector
4 Stars
'...Claire Martin returns with what is unequivocally one of the year's outstanding jazz vocal sets.'
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Jazz Journal
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'This is an outstanding album from one of the finest jazz singers in the world today.'
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Jazz FM 'The Yamaha Sunday Jazz Jam
'One of her best albums ever.'
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Jazz Rag
'[Claire]'s malleable voice, jazz instinctiveness and interpretative powers...'
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Jazzwise
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'...gorgeous tone, faultless pitch, exquisite phrasing...'
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The Daily Telegraph
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'Martin's voice has a warmly seductive edge...'
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The Observer
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'...[Claire] has never sounded better.'
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Financial Times
'...the delivery is immaculate.'
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LondonJazz
...an unalloyed treat from start to finish.
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Claire Martin - Too Much in Love to Care - Jazz Times


01 September 2012
The Jazz Times
Christopher Loudon

Claire Martin's 14th release represents multiple milestones for the British vocalist: her first Stateside recording in 15 years, her first to use exclusively American musicians, her first devoted exclusively to selections from the Great American Songbook and the disc that marks her 20th anniversary with the London-based Linn label. It is also as near-perfect a vocal album as you're ever likely to hear. Martin, who has always cited Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn as major influences, can rightfully claim a place at their table.

 

In the liner notes, Martin explains that when performing live she is always aware of the "faint sigh of relief" whenever she sings a familiar tune, hence the all-standards playlist. Among her 13 selections are several of the most-recorded songs of all time -- "Embraceable You," "Time After Time," "Crazy He Calls Me," "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and "I Only Have Eyes for You" among them. Less assured singers would be tempted to tart up such chestnuts. But Martin appreciates that great songs are best served straight up, requiring no adornment beyond exceptional accompaniment. And exceptional it is, as shaped by pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Peter Washington (who also played on Martin's previous New York session, back in 1997), drummer Kenny Washington and saxophonist/flutist Steve Wilson. Like Martin, these fine craftsmen have no interest in grandstanding, remaining individually and collectively content to gently, gorgeously amplify the exquisite beauty of her slightly parched vocals.


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