Claire Martin - A Modern Art - In Tune International

When it comes to UK jazz singers, Claire Martin is the real thing, having been voted Best Vocalist on five occasions by the BBC British Jazz Awards. She does not compromise and each new album proves to be a fresh experience with this latest continuing that trend by celebrating the theme of jazz as a contemporary art form with past and present merging into a whole. Apart from Rodgers and Hart's ‘Everything I've Got Belongs To You', and the almost unknown Cy Coleman/Michael Stewart opus ‘Everybody Today Is Turning On' (from their 1977 musical ‘I Love My Wife'), Claire has chosen songs by contemporary writers Michael Franks (‘Sunday Morning Here With You'), Donald Fagan (‘Things I Miss The Most') and Rebekka Bakken (‘Love of Another') and added a couple of her own suitably themed numbers - co-composed with her close collaborator, bassist Laurence Cottle - ‘A Modern Art' and ‘Edgeways'. Cottle, Gareth Williams (piano), Chris Dagley (drums) form Claire's regular trio but this recording also alludes to the occasional presence of James Maddren (drums), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Nigel Hitchcock (alto sax), Phil Robson (guitar) and Sola Akingbola (percussion) for the edgy and varied accompaniment. Claire's consummate vocal approach is assured, imaginative and irresistible for those familiar with her progressive style but anyone with a low jazz tolerance needs to handle with care!

In Tune International
02 November 2009