Claire Martin - Too Much in Love to Care - Jazz Journal

This is an outstanding album from one of the finest jazz singers in the world today. Over the years,  in her dozen plus releases,  Claire Martin has steered away from the Great American Songbook,  although those lucky enough to hear her live performances will know she sings the material regularly.  When she does,  approval is high and this has led her to present a complete set that will have special appeal to many.  These wonderful songs show no sign of their age; certainly not in Martins sure hands.  Always a tasteful and glowing singer, Martin offers here some most pleasing liquid melodies.  There are also her insightful interpretations of the lyrics; some deft, some witty, some deeply moving.  Whatever the songwriters had in mind, Martin finds the essence and delivers what must be among the musics definitive and most compelling performances.

If the singers virtues were not enough, taking this CD into the upper reaches where superlatives are needed are the exceptional musicians who join her here.  Throughout, Kenny Barron is extraordinary, playing a subtly supporting role that cushions Martin and ably enhances the omnipresent musical joys on display.  On a couple of tracks, Barron is alone with Martin and here, as elsewhere, his solos are superb.  The two Washingtons plays with the verve and understanding we have come to expect (but not, I hope, take for granted), ensure that everything goes with uplifting swing.  Then there is Wilson, who here and there brings his own special talent to the table.  To all this, add very good liner notes by Will Friedwald and Linns impeccable sound and the resulting feast is one that anyone who cares about good songs, beautifully sung and played, must surely want.

11 May 2012