Claire Martin - The Waiting Game - Jazz Express

To its existing triumvirate of jazz artists - Martin Taylor, David Newton and Carol Kidd - Linn Records has now added vocalist Claire Martin. Like Kidd, Martin has excellent clarity, phrasing, attention to lyrics and an interesting and varied choice of material.

Claire Martin's debut album is impressive. She gives a confident treatment to a collection of lesser known standards and contemporary songs, from Rodgers and Hart through to Joni Mitchell. The other musicians also make a telling contribution to the overall success of this release. Jim Mullen thumbs his way effortlessly through the song book, and applies particularly sympathetic backing to the Tadd Dameron tune, 'If You Could See Me Now'. Arnie Somogyi (bass) and Clark Tracey (drums) are highly sympathetic, while Jonathan Gee, as well as co-writing the title track with daire Martin, plays some lovely piano. Their vocal/piano duet on 'It's Always 4am' is one of the highlights, as is 'The People That You Never Get To Love'. Indeed, the emphasis on this album is in favour of slower tempo numbers (with the notable exception of 'Tight') and this would seem to be a wise choice, as it gives the vocalist the opportunity to demonstrate her control and individuality.

Claire Martin has been singing professionally in this country, in America and at sea (on luxury liners) since leaving school. The Waiting Game should bring her the wider recognition she deserves.

Jazz Express
01 August 1992