Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett - Say It Isn't So - Jazzwise

Following their two previous duo albums, 'When Lights Are Low' and 'Witchcraft', 'Say It Isn't So' presents a final third chapter in the remarkable musical partnership of Claire Martin and the late Richard Rodney Bennett.

Like 'Witchcraft' the new album is a songbook, focusing here on the work of the great Irving Berlin. Such is the rapport between the duo that every one of the 12 songs strikes vocal jazz gold: the emotional honesty, the perfect pacing and the genuine warmth of the music-making is heard in every phrase, not to mention Linn's superb recorded sound.

Martin sprinkles her magic over everything she touches here, from an effervescent ‘Steppin' Out' to a heart melting ‘What'll I Do'. I've never heard the latter sung more beautifully. Bennett really shines in a terrific arrangement of ‘He Ain't Got Rhythm', clearly having a ball with the lyric (He attracted some attention/When he found the fourth dimension/but He Ain't got Rhythm). A magnificent finale to a unique collaboration.

01 November 2013