CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

February 2017 – Jazzwise Magazine

jazzwise

CLAIRE MARTIN: Celebrating Shirley Horn – Ronnie Scotts

January 2017 – The Times – Clive Davis 4 stars

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CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

September 2016 – Jazz Times – Christopher Loudon

There are showier jazz singers. There are splashier jazz singers. But there are few, if any, finer jazz singers than Claire Martin. She’s certainly the best the U.K. has produced, with her cunning mix of straight-ahead purity and interpretive legerdemain.

Martin is fond of partnerships. She’s recorded two full-length albums with the late pianist-composer Richard Rodney Bennett, another with Kenny Barron, and she regularly performs alongside Ian Shaw and Joe Stilgoe. Here, nearly two decades after a pair of guest appearances on his The Full Flavour, she reunites with fellow Brit Ray Gelato, a seasoned saxophonist and vocalist with a style that suggests Buddy Greco by way of Louis Prima.

Across the majority of these 13 tracks she does get showier and splashier, bending toward Gelato’s passion for classic American swing on rip-roaring duets of “This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” “The Coffee Song,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “All I Do Is Dream of You,” “Smack Dab in the Middle,” “You Came a Long Way From St. Louis,” Billie Holiday’s “Now Baby or Never,” Gelato’s “A Swingin’ Affair” and an “Ornithology” worthy of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Though supported only by piano (David Newton), bass (Dave Whitford), drums (Sebastiaan de Krom) and Gelato’s sax, there’s an impressive bigness to their sound, mirroring the thunderous showmanship of Prima with Keely Smith. The wonderfully frenetic pace slows just thrice, for breezy readings of the Jerry Lewis-associated title track, “C’est Si Bon!” and Martin’s exquisite take on “More Than You Know.”

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

September 2016 – HiFi News 

Album of the Month!!!

HFN-Sept-CDs

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

Four stars – ‘It’s an album that strikes all the right notes, played and sung with a real joie de vivre.’ Jazzwise (July 2016)

 

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

‘A superb collection of songs that swing from the outset and impeccably played that is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.’ Vocal Sound of Jazz (17 July 2016)

 

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

‘One to share for its toe-tapping rhythm and joi-de-vive!’ InTune International (July 2016)

 

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

Four stars – ‘A swinging charmer that lives up to the promise in the album’s title.’ Straits Times (15 June 2016)

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS – JAZZ VIEWS

03 June 2016 – Jazz Views – Nick Lea

After recording a selection of romantic songs and ballads from the Great American Songbook in the States with the legendary Kenny Barron on piano on Too Much In Love To Care, Claire Martin has recorded another album of standards, this time in partnership with long term collaborator and friend, Ray Gelato.

The album’s title neatly sums up what you are about to hear, a superb collection of songs that swing from the outset and impeccably played that is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. The toe tapping immediately begins with the opening number, and continues through to the closing ‘Smack Dab In The Middle’. In between you will encounter all manner of treats and surprises.

To aid and abet them in the creation of this fun packed album Martin and Gelato have assembled a stellar rhythm section that know just what is required of them, and deliver in spades. David Newton is superb throughout, his accompaniment is as good as you could possibly wish for, and his solos are a model of the art of being succinct. Get in, say what you have to and get out again, seems to have been the approach adopted by the pianist; and with most of the tracks coming in at under the four minute mark this policy serves the music well. All of his contributions are tasteful, fit perfectly within the context of the song and have something pertinent to say..almost like having third vocalist.

Of the two leaders, Claire and Ray work together seamlessly, and their friendship and empathy are immediately apparent. With such a repertoire everyone will have their particular favourite tracks, but I have found my  choice cuts are not the obvious choices.  ‘C’st Si Bon!’ can only be described as delightful. The Latin tinged ‘The Coffee Song’ by Dick Miles and Bob Hilliard is a song that I had not heard before, and is superbly arranged and played here, and the lyrics (for a self confessed coffee addict) are great! The pair take a chance on Charlie Parker’s ‘Ornithology’, which in lesser hands could have been a bit of a car crash, and negotiate the tricky theme and the lyrics of Babs Gosalves with aplomb. With a couple of fine tenor breaks by Gelato, this track is another well chosen gem.

I must confess to preferring Gelato’s fuill toned tenor playing to his singing, but Claire Martin is the real deal and the highlight of the album must be her reading of ‘More Than You Know’, with some wonderful commentary from the saxophonist. At this stage in her career, Claire Martin is able to handle any material that she chooses to perform, totally owning the song and imbuing it with her own personality, and yet with total respect for the material and the composers intent.

A strong contender for the Album of the Year selection and a must for anyone with the slightest interest in the art of jazz vocals.

 

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS

‘An album which is damned fine fun from beginning to end.’  The Jazz Breakfast Show (31 May 2016)

 

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS – THE OBSERVER

Four stars – ’An irresistible mixture of swing, jump-and-jive and sheer bonhomie…’ The Observer (22 May 2016)

 

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS – THE OBSERVER

22 May 2016 – The Observer – Dave Gelly

Claire Martin can grasp the essence of any jazz-oriented style that appeals to her and make herself instantly at home in it. This time it’s the irresistible mixture of swing, jump-and-jive and sheer bonhomie purveyed by Britain’s “Godfather of Swing”, singer and saxophonist Ray Gelato. It’s a great combination, with far more jazz artistry involved than you might at first expect. Take, for instance, the easy relaxation in the vocal exchanges between the two of them, the supple lightness of the rhythm section, especially pianist David Newton and drummer Sebastian de Krom. My own favourite track is a gorgeous version of the ballad More Than You Know by Ms Martin, but it’s all hugely entertaining and beautifully performed.

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS – THE NEW LISTENER

08 May 2016 – The New Listener – Oliver Fraenzke

IDEAL FÜR EINEN MARTINI MIT EIS

„We’ve Got A World That Swings” heißt die Duett-CD von Claire Martin und Ray Gelato, erschienen in der Jazzreihe von Linn Records. David Newton spielt das Klavier, am Kontrabass ist Dave Whitford, und die Rhythmussektion wird von Sebastián de Krom übernommen.

Die Jazzaufnahmen von Linn Records stehen fast ausnahmslos für exzellente Qualität und haben immer wieder zum Staunen angeregt – „Just Listen„, dieses Motto von Linn wird tatsächlich Programm. Ein absolutes Highlight des letzten Jahres war zweifelsohne Liane Carrolls „Seaside”, eine der fantastischsten und vielseitigsten heutigen Jazzstimmen in einer der bestabgestimmten und auch instrumental überzeugendsten Aufnahmen. So liegt die Messlatte also hoch für die neue CD von Claire Martin und Ray Gelato.

Die Platte lässt sofort ein typisches Cocktailbar-Feeling aufkommen, die Musik ist leicht und beschwingt ohne großartige Überraschungen oder hochkomplexe Passagen – ideal zum Nebenbeihören. Doch wollen wir uns hier nicht davon hinreißen lassen, die Musik ohne sonderliche Aufmerksamkeit laufen zu lassen, sondern nehmen sie aktiv unter die Lupe. Dabei fällt nun auf, dass eigentlich nichts auffällt: Die Musik ist angenehm und locker zu hören, hat sowohl vom instrumentalen als auch vom gesanglichen Aspekt gute Qualität, doch sticht sie durch absolut gar nichts hervor. Beide Sänger, Claire Martin wie auch Ray Gelato, haben einen überzeugenden Swing und eine absolut klare Textverständlichkeit. Hinsichtlich der klanglichen Schattierungen besticht Martin mehr, sie kann ihre Stimme vielseitiger einsetzen, ein leichtes Hauchen und ein geschickt für besondere Effekte eingesetztes Vibrato zur aktiven Gestaltung der Textvorlage verwenden. Ray Gelato wirkt dagegen etwas statischer, nutzt wenige Dynamikveränderungen und hält den einmal angeschlagenen Tonfall konsequent durch. Wenn sie beide im Duett singen, neigt Ray Gelato zu einem rufenden Tonfall.

Von den Instrumentalisten fällt besonders Dave Whitford am Kontrabass positiv auf, der durchgehend vernehmbar bleibt, ohne sich in den Vordergrund zu drängen. Sein Pizzicato ist treffsicher und von bestechendem Groove, hat einen warmen und abgerundeten Klang, den Whitford auch schwingen lässt, anstatt ihn zu trocken zu nehmen. David Newtons Klavierstimme gestaltet sich harmonisch einfach und verwendet ausschließlich standardisiert typische Skalen, die er in vergnügtem Improvisationsstil auskostet. Alles ist sehr eingängig und locker, und auch er pflegt dynamisch weitgehend ein Einheitslevel, das die gesamte Einspielung und alle Musiker durchzieht und deshalb besonders zum Abschalten und Nebenbeihören einlädt. Für den rhythmischen Swing ist Sebastián de Krom an Drums und Percussion zuständig, eine Aufgabe, die er exzellent ausführt, und damit bis auf wenige besonders schöne Rhythmen vor allem in The Coffee Song keine Aufmerksamkeit zieht.

„We’ve Got A World That Swings” ist eine grundsolide Platte und für jede Cocktailparty zu empfehlen. Die musikalische Qualität ist durchweg gut, bleibt lediglich durch absolut nichts für längere Zeit als besonderes Erlebnis im Gedächtnis. Viel Spaß also mit dieser locker-flockigen Frühsommer-Veröffentlichung!

CLAIRE MARTIN & RAY GELATO – WE’VE GOT A WORLD THAT SWINGS – SOUL AND JAZZ AND FUNK

20 April 2016 – Soul and Jazz and Funk

‘We’ve Got A World That Swings’ is a brand new album collaboration between the UK’s premier jazz singer, CLAIRE MARTIN and saxophonist/vocalist/bandleader RAY GELATO and over 13 tracks, the pair pay an unashamed homage to the beauty of swing.

Claire and Ray first worked together 20 years ago, but more recently they went on the road together presenting a live show that wowed packed houses with their interpretations of some of the best tunes from The Great American Songbook. The logical end to the tour was to record a complementary album… and the set, ‘We’ve Got  A World That Swings’, hits the sales racks on May 20th.

On the album the duo are backed by an all-star trio – David Newton (piano), Dave Whitford (bass) and Sebastian de Krom (drums) and between them and Ray and Claire they find freshness and vitality in familiar material – songs like ‘Come Dance With Me’, ‘The Coffee Song’, ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ and Charlie Parker’s ‘Ornithology’. The album’s only original is Ray’s own ‘A Swinging Affair’ and it proves why the legendary jazzer is nicknamed ‘The Godfather of Swing’ (and why Paul McCartney chose him to play at his wedding!)

Sunday 21st February, London
Claire Martin and Joe Stilgoe, St James Theatre
Onomatopoeic delights and acerbic wit from top-drawer duo

“It was heart-warming to hear two artists performing standards and originals with such care, insight and sensitivity”

With Peter Andre butchering Frank Sinatra on the one hand (“Reality TV swing”, as Ray Gelato aptly put it) and Annie Lennox massacring Billie Holiday on the other, it was heart-warming to hear two artists performing standards and originals with such care, insight and sensitivity.

After they’d opened with an arresting snippet of Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce”, a massively swinging take on Peggy Lee’s “I Love Being Here with You” saw Martin slipping in some deft lyrical changes (“I’d love to kiss George Clooney’s nose”), while the first of several towering scats lit up “Comes Love” like a firecracker.

Martin’s singing on “I Love Paris” (from Porter’s 1953 Broadway musical Can-Can and most famously recorded on Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook) was sublime, imbuing the line “I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles” with an intense depth of feeling. A brace of solo spots for Stilgoe saw him continue the Parisian theme, dusting down the onomatopoeic delights of Charles Trenet’s “Boum!”, learnt from The Best of Charles Trenet (“probably his best album”, Stilgoe quipped), and which also featured some nifty mouth trumpet, followed by a rather lovely, and lesser-known, song from Can-Can, “Who Said Gay Paree?”.

The first set finished with two songs from albums that Martin recorded with her great friend and mentor, the late Sir Richard Rodney Bennett: a dazzlingly effective “Witchcraft”, the title track of their 2011 album of Cy Coleman songs, plus a heart-melting “Blue Skies” excerpted from the magnificent third and final chapter of the duo’s musical partnership, the Irving Berlin songbook Say It Isn’t So.

Framed by sparkling versions of songs by the brilliant Gershwins, “They All Laughed” and “Love Is Here To Stay”, the duo really settled into their music-making in the second set. As well as classic standards such as “Old Devil Moon” and “Lover Come Back To Me”, the set also featured a trio of Stilgoe originals. The first, “Lost For Words”, penned for Martin and recorded by the duo on her exceptional 2014 album Time & Place, was beautifully done here, with Martin subtly charting its narrative ebb and flow. Stilgoe’s suitably elegiac reading of “Seaside”, the title track of Liane Carroll’s most recent album, was counterpointed with the feel-good blast of energy provided by “Totally” from his own New Songs for Old Souls. Previously covered by US jazz vocalist Jackie Allen, Donald Fagen’s “Do Wrong Shoes” was a wickedly acerbic digression.
@MrPeterQuinn

Claire Martin & Joe Stilgoe – Live @ St. James Theatre
The extremely gifted jazz singer and BBC Radio 3 presenter Claire Martin, O.B.E., has spent decades perfecting her performances, producing 18 albums and achieving international critical acclaim. Amazingly she’s won the British Jazz Awards seven times!

Equally talented jazz artist Joe Stilgoe, singer, pianist and songwriter, tours intensively on the live circuit, playing at prestigious venues throughout the world and his recent album New Songs for Old Souls has received considerable praise.

At this St. James Theatre performance the two artists mixed familiar and unexpected songs and told stories with great charm, humour and enthusiasm. Together they swung and sparkled with Peggy Lee‘s ‘I Love Being Here With You’, performed a relaxed and playful ‘Do Wrong Shoes’ by Donald Fagen and explored music by Michel Legrand with the elegant ‘Watch What Happens’.

In Irving Berlin‘s optimistic ‘Blue Skies’ flying bluebirds symbolised happiness and the lively rhythm of Van Morrison‘s classic ‘Moondance’ merged jazz with folk and soul. Joe sung in French in Charles Trenet‘s ‘Boum’, the remarkably silly song which uses odd depictions of sounds made by animals together with onomatopoeia.

There were songs that Joe had written himself. The hypnotic ballad ‘Lost For Words’ was an unexpectedly magical moment and ‘Seaside’, written for Liane Carroll, sensitively created the imagery of sun and sand in a coastal landscape.

Fine songs by George Gershwin also featured. A joyous ‘S’Wonderful’ sounded vibrant and ‘They All Laughed’ had the insight to look at those who ridiculed some of history’s famous scientific and industrial geniuses, observing “Who’s got the last laugh now?”. It was Gershwin’s glorious and delightful ‘Love Is Here to Stay’ which aptly ended this most enjoyable evening.

Claire Martin and Joe Stilgoe are fresh, clever and glamorous. Together their harmonies are wonderful and there’s a combined confidence that’s quite natural and instinctive. They seem perfectly at ease in each others company.

Anthony Weightman