Claire Martin - Time & Place - About.com
26 August 2014About.com
who are hip to the world of high-end audio know the Linn name as being
synonymous with some of the best sounding stereo products on the planet. The
Glasgow-based company also releases some fine jazz and classical recordings,
including this new collection by Claire Martin.
Drawing on a diverse range of songwriters - from Lennon and McCartney to David Bowie to Joni Mitchell to Gershwin and Monk - Martin offers
eleven songs that, in spite of their pop origins, always stay true to her jazz
roots. With the accompaniment of The Montpellier String Quartet, Martin makes a
smart choice by opening the album with a dusky, romantic reading of Gershwin
and Weill's "My Ship." Her own arrangement of "Catch Me If You Can" is a
rollicking follow-up to the quietude of the opener, braced by pianist Joe Stilgoe's
hearty left hand.
Stilgoe's own "Lost For Words" is interesting, a roomy ballad
that offers Martin plenty of room for exploration. Though pop covers by jazz
artists can be dicey business - see Cyrille Aimee's cover
Jackson's "Off The Wall" - Stilgoe's arrangement of The
Beatles' "She's Leaving Home" is perfectly simple and heartfelt
(though Stilgoe's background vocals seem a little out of place). Even better is
the tongue-in-cheek reading of Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World," a
humorous touch of cabaret that evokes thoughts of darkly lit burlesque stages.
something new out of "'Round Midnight" is always a challenge but the
electric bass work and the quartet's accompaniment offer a nice change of pace.
As should be expected from an audio company, the engineering on this record is
Martin's work here is exemplary: rich, romantic, fervent and classy. This
is a solid record with few flaws.
Related LinksClaire MartinJoe StilgoeMontpellier Cello QuartetRichard Rodney BennettTime & Place