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Rebecca Martin

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Primary Instrument: Guitar

Rebecca Martin

In the beginning, bards went from village to village, bringing folks the news of the day with their ballads. The oldest Anglo-Saxon term for this singer of words was “scop,” which means “shaper.” In other words, it was up to the balladeer to “shape the world” for those who cared to listen. Not all of those Medieval songs were about battles, about castles lost and kings dying. There were also songs that spoke of love and hope, of life and death, of joy and despair. In a harsh world, “Carpe diem” or “Seize the day,” became a favorite motif. Listening to the words of the traveling bard, any common villager, any man or woman or child would soon realize that they were not alone with their feelings, that others had the same thoughts hidden in their hearts and minds....
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”Martin's voice does not soar, but hovers hypnotically, barely above a whisper, like a dramatic monologue brought to life by a Shakespearean artiste in an epic tragedy. Her voice has wings, but is low-flying as it stirs the emotions of those who will give her an ear.”

RAUL D'GAMA ROSE http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37581#.UC7v0GDgKi4

***

“The songs are all hers this time, and nearly every one carries a chilling mule-kick, originating either in Ms. Martin's lyrics, her singing or the arrangements of her modest band. It's a facile comparison to put these songs against Norah Jones's, but at least it helps to orient them in the new landscape. Those of the more popular singer turn love into a pleasant abstraction. Ms. Martin's have more depth, darkness and traction; they deal with emotion closer to the complicated way it actually occurs.” Ben Ratliff, the New York Times

***

“Rebecca Martin’s “When I Was Long Ago” (Sunnyside) is one of the most exceptional jazz vocal recordings of the year. It is a collection of standards, but Ms. Martin is accompanied only by bassist Larry Grenadier and saxophonist Bill McHenry; it is rare to find a vocalist working without a piano or guitar. The sound is airy and spacious, and Messrs. Grenadier and McHenry contribute equally to the performance, rather than serving as mere backing musicians to Ms. Martin’s vocals.”

Martin Johnson, The Wall Street Journal

***

“Rebecca Martin has a warm, unguarded voice, an instrument of modesty and forbearance. Her interior style can feel almost too spare for standards, though she has recorded good albums full of them, most recently with the jazz drummer Paul Motian. With her own songs, she manifests a deeper, more easeful authority. She can make the same phrase seem philosophical and conversational, and about as natural as sighing. “

Nate Chinen, The New York Times

***

“Volume three of deviously delicate percussionist Paul Motian's On Broadway series appeared two years ago - representing the former Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett drummer's 1980s and 90s reinventions of standard songs in the company of Bill Frisell and Lee Konitz. This is a contemporary update on the same venture, recorded last year with Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, a jaw-droppingly inspired Chris Potter on sax, and a young singer - Rebecca Martin - who may even come to upstage Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux.”

John Fordham, the Guardian

***

“Here is another terrific example of why I, and others like me, bother to engage in this practice. An incredible talent, a remarkable spirit, a true artist of substance this close to being absolutely huge, but not quite-yet. She's one of the few that brings to the reviewer the simultaneous feelings of incredulity, at having the opportunity to make them more widely known, and gravity, in recognition of the heady responsibility that underlays the task of extolling them in credible fashion.”

Phil DiPietro, All About Jazz

***

“One of the most distinctively original voices in music today, Rebecca Martin transcends the boundaries between jazz vocalist and singer/songwriter in her performances…(Martin) marked herself as a modern-day troubadour, a musical storyteller possessed of a daring willingness to bare her soul in the telling of tales fraught with both personal and universal meaning. Alternately exuding bold confidence and delicate fragility in tone…”

Russ Musto, New York City Jazz Record

***

“In the circles of Jazz in New York, the singer (Rebecca Martin) has had critical success. Her approval rating has risen steadily over recent years, and for good reason. In Montreal, however, she still remains a secret … I will not keep it to myself. Count me in!” Alain Brunet, La Presse – Canada

1995: Once Blue : “self titled” 1997: Once Blue: re-released re-mastered original album with bonus tracks. 1998: Rebecca Martin: ”Thoroughfare” 2000: Rebecca Martin, Middlehope: 2004: Rebecca Martin, People Behave Like Ballads 2006: Rebecca Martin with Paul Motian: On Broadway Volume 4 or the Paradox of Continuity (Winter and Winter Records) 2007: Rebecca Martin, The Growing Season (Sunnyside Records) 2010: Rebecca Martin, When I Was Long Ago (Sunnyside Records) 2013: Rebecca Martin, Twain (Sunnyside Records)

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Featured recording “When I Was Long Ago”

When I Was Long Ago
Sunnyside Records (2010)

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