Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett - When Lights Are Low - Good Sound Magazine
Having proven herself one of the best jazz singers around when fronting a big band or jazz trio, Claire Martin has now tackled Everest -- an intimate duo album with composer and pianist Richard Rodney Bennett. Though most Americans know Bennett as the writer of scores for films such as Murder on the Orient Express, and as a composer of concert music for orchestra, band, and just about every other conceivable combination of musicians, he is also a powerhouse jazz pianist, and sings as well. He and Martin share the vocal honors, doubling up for a few duets -- such as their smoky, late-night version of When Lights Are Low. Martin gets things off to a grand start with a sultry version of My One and Only, and her version of Fools Fall in Love is entirely vulnerable. Bennett counters with a heartbreaking version of Baby Plays Around. Overall, this is wee-hours jazz full of closing-time laments, done to the max by two pros who sound as if they know every lyric inside out. The 4.0-channel sound is rich and full.