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Bebop Spoken There

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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Review: Claire Martin & Jim Mullen - Bumpin'

Claire Martin (vocal); Jim Mullen (guitar ); Mads Bærentzen (piano); Thomas Ovesen (bass); Kristian Leth (drums).
(Review by Lance).

Still the CDs arrive - the chances of an artist getting a review are now down to about 1% unless more reviewers come forth. I know I could just cut and paste the press releases which, to me, is the easy way out but not necessarily the ethical one.

However, because of this selectivity, when a CD does grace these pages you can guarantee that it's 5* and counting.

This is just such an album. I know the girls are on the march and I don't think the UK has ever had such a formidable distaffian army storming the jazz citadel. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Barnsley, Chesterfield, London, Canterbury and - in this case - Brighton, the jazz voice lives.
Claire Martin has it all - perfect pitching, intelligent interpretation of the lyric, the ability to convey the words in a meaningful manner. Truth is, I think Claire could make How Much is that Doggie in the Window? sound like something by Cole Porter or George Gershwin! 

Fortunately, that challenge doesn't arise here, instead the album is dedicated to Wes Montgomery and who better to assist her in this endeavour than Jim Mullen?

As with jazz singers, there is no shortage of jazz guitarists. Where the line thins out is when it comes to the Jim Mullens of this world - just as there is only one Claire - so there is only one Jim.

Put this duo on top of an ace Danish rhythm section, add the inspiration of Wes Montgomery's recordings to the mix and you have l'elisir d'amore jazzwise.

Surprisingly, most of the tracks are standards that, presumably, Wes recorded during his short but prolific (and influential) lifetime. The only  actual Wes compos are Road Song, West Coast Blues, I Could Get Used to This (Bumpin'), Back in the Room (Bock to Bock).  This latter track is actually by Wes' brother Buddy and the words are by Claire's fellow Brightonian singer/songwriter Imogen Ryall described by Claire in the August edition of Jazzwise as "A hidden diamond".

The others are exquisite interpretations of : Willow Weep For Me, 'Round Midnight, If You Could See me Now, Goin' Out of my Head, Born to be Blue, The End of a Love Affair.

It doesn't come any better than this.
Claire Martin can be heard with SSBB at Hoochie Coochie on October 20 - book now!
Lance.
Available on Stunt Records - CD or LP - release date August 23.
Try/buy.

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Oh my! Jeff Brown played 'I could get used to this - bumpin' on Jazz FM yesterday and it made my day. I agree with your review - Claire Martin is pitch perfect
and together with Jim Mullen has made a great album. 5*

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