Credited as both Dave Martin and David Martin, this pianist enjoyed a long career as an accompanist, sometimes leading his own band. Due to his versatility and the fact that he continued performing until the end of his life, Martin serves as a link between several different styles of music that evolved in America between the '20s and the '70s, including classic blues, swing-jazz, rhythm and blues and doo wop. While he spent most of the '30s with a crowd of expatriate jazzmen overseas including violinist Eddie South, much of Martin's career was spent in New York City answering calls from record producers.
He came by his interest in music most likely due to his family. His father ran his own music conservatory, personally teaching some of the classes as well as administrating, and both Martin's brother and sister played violin. Martin himself played cello as well as piano; he did some recording with the former instrument in the early part of his career, contributing to the interesting non-classical cello recording history decades before players such as Fred Katz and Tom Cora came bowing along. Most of Martin's studio dates were on the piano, however, a fact made evident by recording credits to be found on a pile of reissue sides from the early days of jazz and blues recording.
Following the European sojourn with South, Martin was back in New York City leading a band of his own at a hotel. He continued working with South stateside, all such activity interrupted by the second World War and a call to accompany Uncle Sam's forces abroad. From the mid-'40s through 1948 the pianist and his group were regularly presented at the Cafe Society venue. In the '50s he continued working in both a solo and accompaniment capacity, moving for a fourth of 1958 from the Big Apple to London, as in the metropolis of Big Ben. In the '60s and '70s he worked with his own bands, as well as with bandleader Sol Yaged. Martin's best-known composition is "Easy Does It," included in several published collections of jazz standards.