CD Review: Rebecca Martin | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
CD Review: Rebecca Martin
Sunnyside Records, 2008

Rebecca Martin didn’t come to New York in 1990 carved out as a jazz singer. She came as a singer filled with stories from a lifetime spent with others marked with pain and patience and sometimes sensuous joy. The Growing Season was produced at engineer Paul Antonell’s Clubhouse studio in Rhinebeck and contains 13 compositions that dote upon existential themes and recapturing what’s already present within us.

Like ice-coated branches on a shivery winter’s day, Martin’s voice glistens and crackles on each tune. Her plaintive message in “To Prove Them Wrong” reassures us of our intrinsic strength and wisdom that waits to be called upon. In “After Midnight” we hear the haunted and remorseful thoughts of a soldier after resettling home; thoughts that bring him back to the battlefield. Martin counsels those holding in the best part of themselves during “Free At Last”: If given just a “little bit of time,” would you give back what you’d taken? It’s a piercing question that sharply snaps back at you. For this fourth release under her name, she chose a road-tested band—guitarist and keyboardist Kurt Rosenwinkel, who produced the album; drummer Brian Blade; and her husband, bassist Larry Grenadier. They’re all masterful at creating symbiotic relationships with whomever they’re playing with.

RhAuthor Salman Rushdie poses the question: “Why do we care about singers? Wherein lies the power of songs?” About Martin, Antonell says: “She’s got real songs.”

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