Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett - When Lights Are Low - Birmingham Post

The composer, pianist and singer Richard Rodney Bennett (Sir Richard, if you please) has always been pretty fussy about the singers he chooses to perform with. They must have a great knowledge and love of the finest songs of the Great American Songbook, and be able to help him create a subtle and very special musical (and romantic) chemistry on stage.
So Claire Martin deserves to be feeling more than a little chuffed to be Sir Richard's partner of choice for this album and loads of dates in clubs and on concert stages.
There is a lovely frisson contained in the digits on this disc. The young clear voice of Martin and the smoky, characterful tones of the man of advancing years (he'll be 70 soon) create a charming, playful and sexy game of chase and follow. It's all so sophisticated yet never slick. And Bennett's piano settings and playing are just exquisite.
The songs range from Cole Porter to Elvis Costello; some sung by Martin, some by Bennett and some of the most blissful moments come when they sing together.

14 December 2005