Claire Martin - The Waiting Game - Jazz CD

While the talents of the new wave of young instrumentalists on the British jazz scene have been extensively publicised and applauded, we've also been blessed with the emergence of several outstanding vocalists into the spotlight. Carol Kidd, who's abilities are now being fully recognised outside Scotland, and Tina May being among the most notable. They're now joined by Claire Martin, an amazingly poised 24 year-old singer who makes her recorded debut with this outstanding release. In his accompanying notes, Richard Rodney Bennett justifiably extols her immaculate sense of pitch, musicianship and vocal controt along with her ability to swing. What is equally striking is her choice of material which draws on some less familiar jazz standards in Rodger's and Hart's This Funny World, the lovely Sammy Cahn-Ray Anthony ballad It's Always Four a.m., and Betty Carter's Tight, amongst others. The up-tempo and witty Key To Your Ferrari provides a powerful, punchy conclusion to the twelve tracks, with her accompanying quartet of pianist Jonathan Gee, guitarist Jim Mullen, bassist Arnie Somogyi and drummer Clark Tracey cooking away behind Claire's vocal improvisations. But Rupert Holmes' lovely, wistful composition The People That You Never Get To Love offers the most moving performance of the fifty-minute programme, and understandably generated anenthusiastic response from listeners when I featured it in a recent radio programme. If you enjoy superb singing do not, on any account, allow this album to escape your attention; Ms Martin's vocal skills merit it becoming a bestseller.

Jazz CD
01 September 1992