Claire Martin - Time & Place - Jazzwise
While we've heard Claire Martin with string quartet before (her 2012 album Too Darn Hot!), the incredibly rich, homogeneous timbral blend of the Montpellier Cello Quartet takes Time and Place to another - altogether more delicious - level. The album is framed by Richard Rodney Bennett, Martin's great friend and mentor who sadly passed away in 2012. Bennett's arrangement of album opener ‘My Ship', featuring just Martin and the Quartet, is a thing of unfathomable beauty, while his closing song about the writing of a last will and testament, ‘Goodbye For Now' penned with lyricist Charles Hart, provides the impossibly touching conclusion. Time and Place is one of those rare things: an album of standouts. Whether its Geoffrey Keezer's heartbreaking ‘Featherfall', Pete Davison's arrangement of ‘The Man Who Sold The World' which transforms the Bowie song into a lost aria from Carmen, Joe Stilgoe's ‘Lost For Words', a song that immediately engraves itself on your heart, or Mark-Anthony Turnage's hugely atmospheric remake of Joni Mitchell's ‘Two Grey Rooms', the album is one of the finest chapters in this illustrious singer's career.