Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett - When Lights Are Low - Daily Telegraph
01 October 2005Daily Telegraph
There is a twilight area - perhaps more accurately a late night zone - where jazz blends into cabaret. And that's where this mellow album belongs.
The performers are just two: a singer and a singer/pianist, which is unusual for jazz but not unknown. One of the most sublime recordings Ella Fitzgerald ever made was her duet with the pianist Ellis Larkin, an accompanist light as thistle-down.
Claire Martin and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett fit into that tradition - a few sophisticated songs and some equally stylish singing (even though it is an American line, and both them sound unashamedly English). Sometimes she sings, sometimes he does. The results are extremely pleasant, particularly on the title track, Benny Carter's lilting When Lights are Low
. That was first recorded by the composer with Elizabeth Welch around 70 years ago, but good songs age well: style does not go out of style.
Despite the difference in their ages - he is nearly twice as old as she - Claire Martin and Sir Richard seem an extremely compatible couple, musically speaking. The final track, We'll Be Together Again
, sounds like a safe prediction.
Related LinksClaire MartinWhen Lights Are Low