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Jazzman
"... son chaleureux et atmosphère lounge."
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A relaxed duo offering up a delightful selection of songs
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In short: a gem of an album, pulling off the difficult feat of simultaneously showcasing Martin's unrivalled vocal gifts and celebrating the extraordinarily moving quality of Horn's music. Strongly recommended.
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Yet another stunning release on the world-renowned label Linn Records.
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As befitting someone whose musical intelligence, jazz spirit and individuality make her the complete singer, England's finest jazz diva stamps her own personality on each track.
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As beautifully done as you might expect from such a class act.
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It's hard to imagine Horn not being impressed with Martin's tribute.
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A quiet beauty for admirers of small-hours jazz.
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Another great album from a British jazz icon - CD of the Week
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Claire Martin ticks that final box and moves closer to becoming the complete jazz singer she's always threatened to be.
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A superior vocalist for a long time - (Claire Martin) has developed real grain and character in her voice.
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Martin's smoky voice has never sounded more authoritative.
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Perhaps Martin's best album.
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It's hard to pick and choose from so many good tracks...Very highly recommended!
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An exceptionally fine album from one of the best singers around.
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Demonstrates the poised phrasing and smoky tone that make Ms Martin our most sophisticated jazz singer.
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Our fave female jazz singer, Martin is absolutely peerless.
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4 Stars
Ms. Martin is often called "The UK's finest jazz singer." This disc makes a strong case.
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The Vortex Website / Magazine
In short: a gem of an album. Strongly recommended.
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Rainbow Network Website
5 Stars
What is impressive is the range of Martin’s voice which is, by turns, soaring, sensuous, plaintive and powerful.
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Claire Martin has an intuitive sense of how to handle the emotion in a song lyric, or even a single word.
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Considered by many, this writer included, as the UK's premier jazz singer.
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The Guardian
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If anyone can get away with a Shirley Horn tribute, it's Claire Martin, whose subtle musical intelligence and jazz sensibilities have been deepening for a long time.
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The complete jazz singer she's always threatened to be.
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BBC Website
Shirley's passed the flame to Claire, who's using it to light fireworks. Go girl!
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The First Post (website)
Claire Martin shows yet again why she is the classiest and most convincing UK female singer around.
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Claire Martin - He Never Mentioned Love - The Jazz Rag


01 October 2007
The Jazz Rag
Les Tomkins

The voice and style of Claire Martin is quite unlike that of Shirley Horn. Nor does she have the same dramatic intensity and poignancy that was evident in Shirley's singing, particularly during her latter "comeback" years. But this heartfelt tribute to Shirley by Claire has her taking songs Shirley performed at different stage in her career and interpreting them very differently. The result is wholly listenable - a happy hour of music.

The title song with its sad story, starts with only Gareth Williams' piano backing, and when Laurence Cottle's bass and Clark Tracey's drums join in, a measured pace is maintained. Forget Me is given an uppish treatment, highlighted by a fine Williams solo. Everything Must Change, which always reminds me of Stevie Wonder's All In Love Is Fair, sees Jim Mullen's guitar artistry added, and a Latin beat that turns it into something optimistic. Likewise Travellin' Light gets a good groove. Claire employs admirable restraint on The Music That Makes Me Dance, its yearning mood illustrating her skilful use of intervals. She lets rip in a more customary manner on All Night Long, which swings in ¾ and features facile flugelhorn from Gerard Presencer. Gerard also adds his eloquence to Claire's tender, wistful, perfectly-phrased version of one of those gifts from France, If You Go. Leon Russell's eminently singable A Song For You is her hottest outing of this set, with a matching Mullen guitar contribution.

At track 9, the salute extends to Slowly but Shirley, a Martin composition in literate praise of her idol. Here the group becomes a quintet, introducing a pleasurable alto solo by Nigel Hitchcock. Claire then gives her all to a rarely-sung Rodgers and hart ballad, You're Nearer, building in power with guitar backing. In L.A. Breakdown, after a long, telling, non-tempo verse, we get to hear the bluesy sides of both Mullen and Martin - not a moment too soon. Contrary to its title, Slow Time has grooving Latin rhythm and keyboard electronics to aid Claire in doing respectful justice to Ian Shaw's articulate lyrics about Ms Horn. While wondering why, according to the credits, it took six people to compose it, I must say The Sun Died is a wonderfully evocative closer by Claire in which Gerard Presencer assuredly shines.

As Richard Rodney Bennett says in his absorbing notes: "I am sure that no other singer would have been so ideal for a Shirley Horn tribute".


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