Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Britain's leading female jazz singer, Claire Martin, presents an acerbic look at what it takes to be a jazz musician in the celebrity-obsessed 21st century. The original and contemporary songs on 'A Modern Art' are presented with a cool-edge, tinged with a touch of irony and razor-sharp wit. It's an album which Martin firmly insists 'is my best ever'. 'A Modern Art' is inspired by the tragic death of pioneering jazz musician Esbjörn Svensson, who Claire pays tribute to with a heartfelt rendition of Love is real. 'A Modern Art' features songs by the 21st century's finest writers; Michael Franks, Donald Fagen, Cy Coleman, Rodgers & Hart and Rebekka Bakken. Mark Winkler has contributed lyrics to a great Joshua Redman melody on the track 'lowercase' and 'As We Live and Breathe' is by the New York Voices' vocalist Lauren Kinhan. The title song, 'A Modern Art', is Claire's own take on the mass dumbing-down of musical standards in popular music. Claire Martin successfully creates 'new' jazz classics as she tackles the thorny subject of jazz as a contemporary art form - one routed in tradition but as relevant and vibrant as ever. Known as The First Lady of British Jazz, Claire Martin has previously won Best Vocalist at the British Jazz Awards on six separate occasions, an award she was nominated in 2013. Claire Martin has been a driving force behind the UK jazz scene for the past 25 years and in 2011 was appointed an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to music.
Personnel: Phil Robson (guitar); Nigel Hitchcock (alto saxophone); Mark Nightingale (trombone); Gareth Williams (piano); Chris Dagley, James Maddren (drums); Solá Akingbolá (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Calum Malcolm.
Liner Note Author: Claire Martin .
Recording information: Phoenix Sound, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, UK (03/10/2009-03/12/2009).
Arranger: Laurence Cottle.