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Claire Martin: Make This City Ours

Ms. Martin’s latest entry-her third for Honest-offers an eclectic program of tunes that seem made for her. From the hip opener, “Gettin’ High,” to the closing “Collagen Lips,” a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the Barbies and Kens of the world, Martin handles both ballads and burners with ease and conviction.

Her jazz sensibilities and musical maturity belie the fact that she’s only 29 years old; her ballads convey a sense of wisdom that can only come with age and experience; witness her reading of Clive Gregson’s “Could This Be the One?.” Her voice is rich and naturally hip, complemented by an exceptional quintet with Gareth Williams on piano, Peter Washington on bass, Gregory Hutchinson on drums, Antonio Hart superb on sax and trumpeter Gerard Presencer. Listen to them stretch deliciously on the opener and dig the high speed intensity of the standard, “No Moon At All,” where Hart adds just the right touch on his instrument while Martin shows how well she can get down.

Her delivery on “Another Night,” a tune about life on the road, is empathetic and her lyrical reading of album producer Joel Siegel’s “Summer (Estate),” done in one take, simply shines, with bassist Washington doing some exceptional work.

And don’t skip over “Anyplace I Hang My Hat is Home,” where Martin swings in a wonderful groove, seasoned by some great playing by Hart and Presencer.

This recording cannot help but add more luster to Martin’s career. To be sure, we’ll be hearing much more from her.

Originally Published