Claire Martin - He Never Mentioned Love - Limelight
This is more than just a tribute album to the late pianist-singer Shirley Horn whose ultra slow vocals often seemed to dissipate like cigarette smoke in the air. Horn, who died in 2005, was one of Claire Martin's greatest influences but as befitting someone whose musical intelligence, jazz spirit and individuality make her the complete singer, England's finest jazz diva stamps her own personality on each track, her smoky voice with the richness of its bottom range as palatable to the ear as ever. Dig her own Slowly but Shirley, the ache of The Sun Died (superb flugelhorn by Gerard Presencer) and the charging All Night Long. It's all class.