14 November 2010

Enthusiasms (31) ~ Rebecca Martin

I first encountered singer Rebecca Martin several years ago on the fourth installment of the "On Broadway" series that Paul Motian has been issuing since the late 1980s. Her voice was a remarkable feature of the recording. Over this past Labor Day I was in Washington DC for the APSA convention and walked with Susan down to Dupont Circle. We stopped in at Melody Records where, among other things, I bought Martin's newest CD When I Was Long Ago, recently released on Sunnyside Records. On the recording it is just Martin, Larry Grenadier (bass) and Bill McHenry (tenor). The tunes are all "standards" with a twist.* Martin researched early performances of all the numbers in order to peel away some of the historical accretions that surround the way we have heard these tunes over the intervening decades. The sparse instrumentation and Martin's voicings make the recording a startling achievement.

10 Tracks: For All We Know (1934) J. Fred Coots/Sam Lewis; But Not For Me (1930) George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin; Lush Life (1938) Billy Strayhorn; No Moon At All (1948) Redd Evans/David Mann; Cheer Up Charlie (1971) Anthony Newley/Leslie Bricusse/Walter Scharf; Low Key Lightly (Lucky In Love) (1959) Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (1931) Harry Barris/Ted Koehler/Billy Moll; Someone to Watch Over Me (1926) George Gershwin/Ira Gershwin; I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (1939) Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart; Willow Weep For Me (1932) Ann Ronell.

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