Claire Martin - The Waiting Game - Jazz Scene

Claire Martin has a husky, cool voice which reminds me of June Cristy's voice. It is hard to compare voices but I mention that to give you an idea of what Martin sounds like. Her basic backing quartet provide able support: Jim Mullen-guitar, Jonathan Gee-piano, Arnie Somogyi-bass and Clark Tracy-drums.

"You Hit The Spot" is a snappy intro tune. Joni Mitchell's "Be Cool" is very laid back. Martin's voice is warm and cozy, her phrasing no-nonsense. "This Funny World," by Rogers & Hart is quite lovely and Martin gets soft, gauzy support from the sidemen. Martin has a sly and sassy way with "Better Than Anything." This is a terrific version. The musicians kick up the dynamics but don't overpower.

Mullen's guitar shimmers on "If You Could See Me Now," as Martin sings in a slow and languid way. "Some Cats" is swingy, in a refined way: "The Waiting Game," an original by Martin and Gee is a very engaging tune. Martin's softer appraoch is perfect for the lovely laments, "Everything Happens To Me," "It Is Always Four A.M." and "The People You Never Get To Love."

Martin excels on the softer tunes. Her voice is right for these anguished tunes. To contrast that, Martin sings Betty Carter's "Tight." The group is unleashed and they respond with plenty of energy. "The Key To Your Ferrari" ends the CD on a frisky and funny note.

Claire Martin has a fine jazz voice and with the right material, she'll do quite well. Jazz singers are always in short supply so we say, welcome to the jazz scene! 

Jazz Scene
01 March 1997