Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett - Live Review - The Walman Report
The very pretty Ms. Martin's head voice may recall June Christy while her rich chest voice is somewhat reminiscent of Cleo Laine, but make no mistake: Martin is a seasoned vocalist/performer and the end result is uniquely original. Mercifully, the act is straight forward, without distracting patter and historical references. Sir Rodney gives subtle support on piano and offers a solid left hand, which is a good rhythmic stand-in for the non-existent rhythm section.
Berlin gems with arrangements by Richard and vocals by Claire include a catchy opening syncopation of Puttin' on the Ritz, a terrific rendition of Change Partners, a strikingly insightful What'll I Do?, and the best versions of Let's Face the Music and Dance and Cheek to Cheek we've heard in years. There are a smattering of lesser known tunes as well, contrasted by such tried and true standards as How Deep is the Ocean and Midnight Choo Choo.
Confirming the old adage , , , less is more, Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett offer a fitting conclusion to a memorable season of the fabled Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and deserve you patronage. A class act. Don't miss it.