By: Bill Clifford
Before Norah Jones
, there was Rebecca Martin
. In 1995, working together with songwriter Jesse Harris
- the chief songwriter of Jones' Come Away With Me
- Martin released Once Blue
by the band Once Blue
, a jazzy, sultry mix of noir. The duo split soon after its release, but Martin has released music under her own name in the years since, including The Growing Season
(Sunny Side), her sixth CD. While Martin works with stellar supporting musicians, including hubby renowned jazz bassist Larry Grenadier
, it's her warm, sensual and evocative voice that make this an outstanding late night cool down. Harris even co-writes one song here, the effervescent Talking." The song titles like Just A Boy," Lullaby" and the title track, reflect motherhood, but Martin also reflects on a defenseless victim of violence in As For You, Raba," where melancholic piano sets the tone. The bluesy lament Free At Last" contains mournful electric guitar and elegant piano alongside Martin's soaring vocals. With Martin's subtle yet deft vocal style front and center, The Growing Season
is a fantastic late night, back porch listen prior to hitting the sack.
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