Review by Audiophile.no May 7, 2014
|This album by Claire Martin on Linn Records differs quite markedly from the previous releases in my collection from the same artist. Where "Too Darn Hot" can easily be graded as gala jazz, this latest release is far more low-key and subdued.
And of course the crew has a lot to do with this - "When Lights Are Low"is a duoperformance with (the late) Richard Rodney Bennett at the piano at walking speed, and additional vocals. As the album name indicates, this is romantic music for real adults. In addition, it provides an exquisite atmosphere of the 20th century, where open Morgan, tartan scarf and driving gloves are popping up in my mind. The only catch is that I really doubt that there was any Morgans in the 20's ...
Claire Martin and Richard Rodney Bennett have worked together a few times before. And rightly so, because in addition to the fact that Bennets piano playing matches Claire Martin's song, he has also a voice that both complements and provides good contrast to Claire, in this repertoire consisting mainly of old standards.
Linn Records has roughly sorted this release under the "Jazz", but is it really jazz? Well to put it that way: it is some time since I checked the limit marks on the right side of this plot. And perhaps more important - "I couldn` t care less ... "
Linn Records is a record label that publishes fortunately most of the releases on Hybrid / multi-channel SA-CD, and When Lights Are Low is no exception. The sound on this album is very good, both on the CD layer and multi-channel SA-CD. Surround channels are used here for ambience, which is practically the only conceivable way in this type of recording. And since it also is a sonically pretty "dry" recording, there is not much contribution from the surround channels. In addition to the sound keeping very high quality, Linn Records have given this disc a "sound" that suits the musical material very well, and helps to give it time and geography signature I described further up.
All in all, a record that can be recommended, not least because of the very good sound. I may still warn that it probably is a minimum age for the audience here. They normally buy Techno - or free-jazz for that matter - have probably at least as great benefit to look elsewhere. And if you are in doubt, you can hear samples here .
This review was originally written in 2005, and translated to English on november 2013. Both times published at Audiophile.no. Richard Rodney Bennett died in 2012, after the original review was written. This is not neccesarily reflecteded in the translation.
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