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Secret Love - Jazzwise


01 November 2004
Jazzwise
Alyn Shipton
4 Stars

The rebellious, different, and therefore entirely familiar, Claire Martin is on show in 'Love Is A Bore' and 'Jive', but for the most part this disc comprises a sophisticated, mature set of standards, which Claire inhabits with grace and authority. maybe spurred on by the compositional inventiveness of Bennett's guest spots, Gareth Williams also turns in some simply stunning accompaniments, prodded by Laurence Cottle, using the full range of his bass guitar, and the probing drums of the younger Mr Tracey. Cottle's introduction to 'But Beautiful' strays into Mullen's range, and Claire's voice begins in a reflective middle register that lends both guitarists an ethereal presence. There are duet spots here and there, such as her intro 'Get Happy' with Tracey's drums, or 'Where Do You Start?' - a mature conversation with Mullen. And, yes, maturity is he key. Old songs, familiar songs, but all inhabited by the sense that they really mean something, and can tell us more about this strange world we all inhabit. One of Claire's best albums to date, and one which will delight those who have always hoped she'd turn her full attention to the classic songbook.


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