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Claire Martin - Perfect Alibi - The Leeds Guide

01 July 2000
The Leeds Guide
Glo Simons

Claire Martin's on a roll at the moment. As well as recently becoming knowing as the presenter of Radio 3s Saturday afternoon's Jazz Line Up, she's also been nominated as Best Jazz Vocalist of 2000. Perfect Alibi on Linn Records sees a blurring of musical boundaries with the innovative album, although ironically most of the tracks are re-workings of classic pop tunes arranged by Paul Stacey. She covers songs of writers as diverse as Phoebe Snow, Laura Nyro, John Martyn, Jimi Hendrix, Tod Rundgren and Julia Fordham. Even David Cassidy gets a nod with the dreamboat's Cherish album. The unmistakable deep husky vocals of John Martin can be heard on his own composition Man In The Station. With more extremely compatible blend of vocals. Up From The Skies written by legendary guitarist and vocalist Jimi Hendrix is presented as a straight ahead swinger, far removed from the original; a brave step for Martin, I hope she doesn't get any flack from Hendrix fans!

Taken as a whole there are 12 tracks of warm, stylish and compelling vocals and some fine musicianship, with the likes of guitarist Paul Stacey, vibes player Anthony Kerr and a whole stream of other exemplary players.

Although straying from the traditional notion of a jazz album it's a refreshing concept and very listenable.

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