Claire Martin & Ray Gelato - We've Got A World That Swings - Jazzwise
Dedicated to the memory of Mark Murphy, this 13-track collection of swing, R&B and jazz standards from Martin and Gelato is clearly a statement from the heart. Whether conjuring up the spirit of Billie Holiday and Count Basie on 'Now Baby Or Never', or breathing new life into the Jimmy Van Heusen/ Sammy Cahn standard 'Come Dance With Me', it's an album that strikes all the right notes, played and sung with a real joie de vivre. One of the great jazz standards, previously recorded by Billie, Sarah and Ella, for sheer beauty of sound alone, Martin's interpretation of More Than You Know' places it in the front rank. The notes fly fast and true in Gelato's 'A Swingin' Affair', graced by one of several apposite solos from pianist Dave Newton. Previously recorded by one of Gelato's heroes, the great Louis Prima, there's an adrenalised account of The Coffee Song', the pair then switching from comedy to zoology with a barnstorming version of 'Ornithology' featuring Babs Gonzales's tongue-twisting vocalese. A trio of absolute belters, 'You Came A Long Way From St. Louis', 'Something's Gotta Give', plus the Jesse Stone hit 'Smack Dab In The Middle', brings things to a suitably rollicking conclusion.