Claire Martin

Old Boyfriends

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Many jazz singers young and old make the mistake of arbitrarily avoiding the pop, rock, and R&B songs of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, but for Claire Martin they're fair game. This outstanding CD finds her demonstrating the jazz potential in such unlikely vehicles as Rupert Holmes' incisive "Partners in Crime" and Tom Waits' "Old Boyfriends" -- not exactly songs jazz singers are usually quick to embrace. True to form, she unearths her share of wrongly neglected classics, including Artie Shaw's "Moon Ray" (a major hit for him during the swing era) and Burt Bacharach's "Out of My Continental Mind" (associated with Lena Horne). As daring as Martin is in her choice of material, her vocal style is actually quite straightforward and lucid and not overly abstract. Martin consistently uses subtlety and restraint to maximum advantage and -- like Chris Connor and Julie London before her -- makes it clear that cool jazz certainly doesn't have to be cold.

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