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Claire Martin, OBE

The Waiting Game

Claire Martin - The Waiting Game


Claire Martin (vocals)Jim Mullen (guitar), Jonathan Gee (piano), Arnie Somogyi (bass), Clark Tracey (drums)

The Waiting Game

Year: 1992
Label: Linn Records

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  • Album Info
  • Reviews

Acclaimed as the outstanding new British voice of the decade, Claire Martin achieved instant recognition with her debut album, The Waiting Game. It was among the best-selling jazz albums of 1992 and was chosen as a ‘Record of the Year’ by The Times.

The pianist and composer Richard Rodney Bennett, long renowned as a connoisseur of singers, concluded his liner notes for the album with the unabashed exclamation: ‘This record knocks me out.’ Tony Bennett was equally enthusiastic when he appeared on the same bill as Claire at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival.

The Waiting Game sees Claire accompanied by a quartet featuring guitarist Jim Mullen.

‘One thing Claire Martin won’t be accused of is having a conventional or unadventurous repertoire. On the superb The Waiting Game, she delivers an engaging version of Betty Carter’s “Tight” and insightfully turns everything from Thomas Dolby’s “The Key to Your Ferrari” to Joni Mitchell’s “Be Cool” into acoustic jazz. “You Hit the Spot” and “Better than Anything” aren’t standards, but the soulfulness Martin brings to these neglected classics indicates that they deserve to be. The unique and distinctive improvisor doesn’t avoid standards altogether – her heartfelt interpretation of “Everything Happens to Me” being a fine example – but thankfully, she’s not one to overemphasize them. Consistently, Martin’s singing is as strikingly personal as it is expressive.’

Jazz Scene
‘Claire Martin has a fine jazz voice…she’ll do quite well.’ more >>

AudioVideo Shopper
‘Martin [has a] wonderful ability to interpret a song…the young diva succeeds best when she reaches furthest, and her wild rendition of Thomas Dolby’s “The Key To Your Ferrari” provies just how versatile and entertaining jazz vocals can be.’ more >>

Jazz Educators Journal
‘This is a CD I can hardly keep out of my CD player. A tenacious jazz sound, jazz feel, jazz phrasing … yeah, an insistently head-spinning jazz singer is what Claire Martin is! Her hip, intoxicating voice and natural manner in shaping songs-unfolding tales and inherent nuances lying in wait to be enlivened-simply keeps her singing crisply fresh and savory.’ more >>

Sunday World-Herald
‘Claire Martin, a British vocalist with a sultry sound…has loads of promise.’ more >>

Chattanooga Free Press
‘She masters classic ballads as well as uptempo arrangements with the flair of a veteran.’ more >>

‘…cool jazz in the best sense: intimate, understated and characterized by a relaxed yet confident sense of swing.’ more >>

Desert News, Salt Lake City
‘impressive versatility’ more >>

Jazz Times
‘A gifted interpreter of songs, with a wonderful sense of repertoire.’ more >>

Compact Magazine
4 Stars
« Claire Martin est une bonne chanteuse…Son clair et bien defini. La voix est bonne mais un rien trop claire. Tres bonne transparence sonore. »

Northern Echo
‘Linn have also issued the first album by another singer, Claire Martin The Waiting Game. Once again the musical support is outstanding, led this time by pianist Jonathan Gee or guitarist Jim Mullen. The tunes include a rare and beautiful Rodgers and Hart song, This Funny World.’

In Vox
‘…sensitive, emphatic, intimate. A truly flexible voice, lithely swaying the lyrics in the midst of captivating melodies.’

Show Magazine
« Premier album d’une future grande du jazz chanté. » more >>

O’s Place Jazz
5 Stars
‘An exceptional debut!’ more >>

The Wire
#6 The Critics’ Choice for 1992

The Times
‘The most polished jazz performer to emerge in this country in the past three or four years.’ more >>

The Wire
Wire Winner: New Jazz Vocal: ‘It’s no exaggeration to say that Claire Martin is the most phenomenal vocal talent yet to appear on the British jazz scene.’ more >>

Jazz CD
‘If you enjoy superb singing do not, on any account, allow this album to escape your attention; Ms Martin’s vocal skills merit it becoming a bestseller.’ more >>

‘She phrases immaculately, can handle ballads with consummate ease, and swings effortlessly.’ more >>

Hi-Fi News & Record Review
‘Ms Martin is a cool jazz chanteuse…an imaginative choice of material…’ more >>

Jazz, The Magazine
‘The jewel here is Claire Martin. Every note is a joy, and it’s all done so well, with such a perfect balance of musicianship and clean recording quality…’ more >>

Jazz Express
‘Claire Martin’s debut album is impressive. Martin has excellent clarity, phrasing, attention to lyrics and an interesting and varied choice of material.’ more >>

Hi-Fi News & Record Review
‘Linn can be proud of this one.’ more >>

Jazz Journal
‘…blessed not only with a wonderful voice but also the rare ability to use it with style, intelligence and wit.’ more >>