Eight years ago, singer-guitarist Rebecca Martin should have earned Norah Jones-sized success when EMI released her sensational debut disc, Once Blue, recorded with her then musical partner Jesse Harris (who would go on to win a Grammy for penning Jones’ massively popular “Don’t Know Why”). Sadly, Once Blue went nowhere (though it has since been remastered and released with nine bonus tracks). Martin’s solo follow-ups, Thoroughfare and the standards-oriented Middlehope (the latter issued by Barcelona’s Fresh Sounds and, just so you know, still very much in print), didn’t cause much of a stir either. Now, with Martin added to MaxJazz’s increasingly impressive vocal roster and out with an album, People Behave Like Ballads, that rivals Once Blue in its raw splendor, here’s hoping she gets the airplay and attention she’s so long deserved. If so, ironically, chances are she’ll be categorized as the latest addition to the Jones school of soft-voiced, folk-jazz singer-songwriters. Such would, however, be an injustice. Not only was Martin around first, but apart from the ethereal beauty of her voice she’s really nothing like Jones.
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