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Claire Martin - Too Much In Love To Care - Jazzwise


01 May 2012
Jazzwise
Peter Quinn
4 Stars

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 AKD 390 Jazzwise Review

 

Claire Martin's fifteenth album for Linn, her first US studio recording since Make This City Ours (1997), marks the first time the singer has recorded an entire album dedicated to the Great American Songbook. Channelling Carmen McRae on the album opener and title track, there is more beauty in this ultra-refined collection of classic romantic songs and ballads than some singers achieve in a lifetime. Martin's unbelievable list of virtues - gorgeous tone, faultless pitch, exquisite phrasing - are in evidence throughout this date. The album also features the amazing pianism of guest star Kenny Barron and on the voice/piano duet tracks - ‘Embraceable You', ‘Time After Time' and ‘Too Late Now' - the combination of Martin's endlessly flexible vocal line and Barron's deluxe voicings recalls the classic Tony Bennett/Bill Evans collaboration. It's really that good. Barron's unresolved chord at the end of ‘Too Late Now' is simply lovely, and Evans himself is remembered in a superb interpretation of ‘A Time For Love'. In addition to Barron - who can magically turn the most well-known standards into something remarkable - the world-class, all-American quartet comprises the rhythm section of Peter and Kenny Washington (the former played on Make This City Ours) and Steve Wilson on sax/flute. With beautifully balanced sound and Linn's typically meticulous production, this is an hour of pure joy.


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