Friday, February 8, 2008

Review -- STEPHANIE MARTIN -- Shape, Line & Harmony

SHAPE, LINE & HARMONY
Stephanie Martin
Independent
9.5-out-of-10
This must be the week for ladies of jazz, as we take a trip down east to check out Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Stephanie Martin.
Martin starts this CD offering up a nice upbeat version of One Good Thing. Like all the material on this CD, Martin wrote the lead long, and it has that wonderful familiar quality of song that will stick with the listener.
Ditto on the second song Come Too Love Again.
That is what amazes me here. Martin has written a selection of songs that have the feel of long-loved standards, something which is not easily accomplished. There is a maturity to her work.
The third song, Box Canyon continues that trend. This one has a country feel, although Martin keeps it in the jazz vein just enough to fit this album.
What surprised me here was that in spite of the first three cuts being so strong, the rest of the CD manges to keep up. There is no let down here. Martin cuts a winner from start to finish. You could pick just about any song you want on this one as a favourite. Songs such as I Paint My Sorrow, Flying Into Delos, Georgia and Hollow Reed all have their strengths that the listen will enjoy.
Martin has a smooth, well-seasoned voice, that is completely at home in the jazz element. If you like jazz, then this one truly is a must. Just plain excellent. An incredible debut. Among the top two, or three jazz albums I've reviewed in the last half decade.
Check her out at www.stephaniemartin.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Feb. 6, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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