Claire Martin & Ray Gelato - We've Got A World That Swings - The Jazz Breakfast

A new album which embraces the style and the swing of over half a century ago. Claire Martin is a hugely adaptable singer and here she happily enters the swing world that tenor saxophonist and sometime singer Ray Gelato has been inhabiting for decades.

With a trio of pianist Dave Newton, bassist Dave Whitford and drummer Sebastián de Krom, the pair duet exuberantly on such classics as C'est Si Bon!Something's Gotta GiveThis Could Be The Start Of Something Big and You Came A Long Way From St Louis, as well as on less well known but equally timeless songs like the Billie Holiday co-written Now Baby Or Never and the CD's title track.

Gelato plays some of his characteristic broad-toned and woozy tenor and has a 1950s way with a lyric, but it's Martin who draws the most admiration. While Gelato can sometimes sound like he's doing a Louis Prima pastiche - and I'm not denying for one moment that it's a very fine Louis Prima pastiche - Martin has the extraordinary ability to sing C'est Si Bon!, or example, and be both true to a more romantic, more innocent 1950s New York zeitgeist and true to herself as a 21st century British jazz singer. For more evidence try her immaculate reading in terms of phrasing, time and tone of More Than You Know.

Overall, am album which is damned fine fun from beginning to end.

The Jazz Breakfast
31 May 2016