Claire Martin - offBEAT - Gramophone

Although she draws her repertoire from across the whole span of popular music Martin can't help being a jazz singer. Not only that, she is an improvising artist of great imagination. Her timing is flawless and, as Dave Gelly remarked in reviewing her third album (this is her fourth), she has a soft, husky voice and good intonation and a superb band. It's a different group in this live recording at Ronnie Scott's but there's no reason to change the adjective. Martin shows a great deal of originality. The instrumental qualities in her singing are not in any way mannered and she interprets lyrics with intelligence and feeling. She also allows plenty of room for her pianist Gareth Williams to solo. An old associate, trombonist Mark Nightingale, also solos and the final track Some Other Time has her accompanied by Martin Taylor's guitar.

It would be interesting to know how, when the sound quality on all the albums I've heard on Ronnie Scott's own label are awful, Linn are able to do so well in the same place.

06 November 1995