Claire Martin - Too Darn Hot! - Evening Standard
30 April 2002Evening Standard
New chick singers are everywhere at the moment. Curiously bland warblers, most can't hold a melody without professional assistance, but all still seem to rate themselves in the same class as Billie, Ella, Peggy and sliced bread.
Claire Martin has nothing to fear from these fantasists. Constantly honing her tone and phrasing, she's always had talent, personality and a refreshingly slick approach. Slickness may be a despised quality in certain jazz circles, where rough edges are regarded as a sure sign of talent, but in the business world, where time is money, and sales spell success, it's very desirable.
This mixture of ballads, blues and swingers is Claire's most professional effort yet. Tricky numbers like Noir, the title track and The Gentleman is a Dope are sung with pizzazz, enhanced by a classy supporting cast that deatures appropriatley dazzling soloists like saxophonist Nigel Hitchcock and pianist Gareth Williams, plus guest vocalist Ian Shaw and an occasional string section. The bonus track, a playful 'Take Six' pastiche with Shaw, doesn't quite come off, but this is a well-crafted and glossy production.
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