Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Jazz – Claire Martin

My favourite contemporary jazz singer Claire Martin has a new album out on the 21st March 2011 titled “Witchcraft” and it is her second full length collaroration with Richard Rodney Bennett.

The album contains a thoughtful selection of songs from the Cy Coleman songbook and the selection weaves together the opposing vocal talents of  Claire Martin and the polished, savvy keyboard skills and compositional insight of Richard Rodney Bennett.

Claire Martin’s strength as one of the best interpreters of the Great American Songbook and as such the result of this established partnership is mesmorising music, that takes you back to a wonderful and simplier time of yesteryear.

“Would You Believe” – Claire Martin & Richard Rodney Bennett

To buy the music of Claire Martin click HERE

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music, New Releases, Uncategorized, Video | , | Leave a comment

“One From The Heart” – Tom Waits

I have been listening to Tom Waits a fair bit this week and in doing so I again rediscovered the gem that is “One From The Heart”

The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and whilst he characters themselves don’t actually sing the powerful score dominates the movie.

It is set entirely in Las Vegas, on the Las Vegas Strip and the desert surrounding the city.

Though the film realistically evokes the feeling of being on the busy Las Vegas Strip, there were no location shots used in the film. Rather, it was shot on studio sound stages, with the single exception of one space on the back lot for a “Las Vegas junkyard” set, described by a character in the film as being “the garden of the Taj Mahal”.

The soundtrack was written by Tom Waits and was recorded from October 1980 to September 1981, and released in 1982.

It was during this period that Waits met his wife Kathleen Brennan, an employee at the studio where it was recorded.

Crystal Gayle features prominently on the record, performing either solo or in duets with Waits. The soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score.

“This One’s From The Heart” – Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle

To buy the music of Tom Waits click HERE

One of the tracks from the soundtrack which was sung by Crystal Gayle was “Old Boyfriends”

This was covered by one of my all time favourite singers Claire Martin (above) on her 1994 album of the same name.

“Old Boyfriends” – Claire Martin

To buy the music of Claire Martin click HERE

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Jazz Vocal, Movies, Old Music, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

New Music – Claire Martin

Claire Martin 1

One of my all time favourite modern era jazz singers is back with another album this time called “A Modern Art”

a modern art

Why A Modern Art?

On my last recording I explored the repertoire of the great Shirley Horn to pay my own personal tribute. This time I was keen to record a selection of new material, songs which I feel define me as an individual, and as a jazz singer in the 21st century.

I have always chosen to sing contemporary material from “outside” the Great American Songbook, alongside lesser-known standards and original compositions. In doing so I have strived to find new songs that can stand alongside the classics we associate with the greats including Ella, Sarah, Betty and Carmen.

Only two of the songs on this album are by classic composers: Cy Coleman’s ‘Everybody Today Is Turning On’ and Rodgers & Hart’s ‘Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You’. Elsewhere, I have chosen songs from some of my favourite writers: Michael Franks, Donald Fagen and Rebekka Bakken. Mark Winkler has contributed lyrics to a great Joshua Redman melody; lyricist Colin Lazzerini has introduced me to two songs I’m proud to have recorded, and the heartfelt ‘As We Live and Breathe’ is by my friend, and New York Voices’ vocalist, Lauren Kinhan. I was really saddened by the untimely death of Esbjörn Svensson. His beautiful ballad ‘Love Is Real’, co-written with Josh Hayden, is a song I recently discovered and I hope makes a fitting tribute to a much-missed musician.

The title song ‘A Modern Art’ was written by me with Laurence Cottle and it’s my own take on celebrity culture and the mass dumbing-down of musical standards in popular music. Jazz remains as vibrant and relevant as ever and can indeed gain a mass appeal – I’m sure of it! In fact, I’m on a mission, and if you’re reading this you’ve already helped my cause! Please spread the word that jazz isn’t an inaccessible art form that is too difficult to understand, nor do you have to wear an anorak and listen to trad in some muddy field in unforgiving British weather. Jazz is a thoroughly Modern Art form and this is my version!

I hope you’ll enjoy this album.

Claire Martin

Here is her version of the Steely Dan song “Things I Like The Most” from their 2003 album “Everything Must Go”

everything must go

This is the lovely “Nirvana”

To buy the music of Claire Martin click HERE

September 24, 2009 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, New Music, New Releases, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Claire Martin


I first encountered Claire Martin back in 1996 at the Glasgow Jazz Festival where she was appearing in a double header billing with Martin Taylor, both being Linn Records artists, I spent some time talking with her after her show and unusually for me even asked for an autograph!

She still records for Linn Records which means that all her recordings have a superb production and sound which enhances her voice to a new level.

To me she is the perfect example of a good modern era jazz singer as she is comfortable with the standards but equally stretches her portfolio to include several covers of modern songs such as this example below which is a Al Kooper composition for Blood Sweat & Tears

“I’l Love You More Than You Will Ever Know” – Claire Martin

If I ever leave you
You can say I told you so
And if I ever hurt you baby
You know I hurt myself as well

   Is that any way for a man to carry on
   D’you think he wants his little loved one gone?
   I love you Baby, more than you’ll ever know
   More than you’ll ever know

When I wasn’t makin’ too much money
You know where my paycheck went
You know I brought it home to baby
And I never spent one red cent


I’m not tryin’ to be
Any kind of man
I’m tryin’ to be somebody
You can love, trust, and understand
I know that I can be, yeah yeah
A part of you that no one else could see
I just gotta hear, to hear you say
It’s all right
Yeah, yeah, yeah!

I’m only flesh and blood
But I can be anything that you demand
I could president of General Motors baby, heh
Or just a tiny little grain of sand


   (Guitar Solo)(Sax Solo)

If I ever leave you
You can say I told you so
And if I ever hurt you baby
You know I hurt myself as well


I love you, I love you, I love you baby!
Well all right!
I told ya, so many times before
I love you
I love you!
If you don’t know, then I’ll tell ya one more time
I love you!
I love you!

For a full biography and to buy her music click HERE

Claire Martin is a presenter on Radio 3 click HERE

This is her cover of Nick Drake’s River Man

March 29, 2009 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , | 2 Comments


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