At its best music can heal the sick and sooth the soul, refresh the spirit and embolden the meek. Vocalist Audrey Martin experienced first hand the power of a song to provide hope and emotional sustenance in the darkest of times. With her captivating debut album, Living Room, the Berkeley jazz singer shares a lifetime of wisdom with a highly personal repertoire that gracefully encompasses gems from the American Songbook and treasures from pop and jazz singer/songwriters such as Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln and Blossom Dearie. Living Room is scheduled for a summer release on August 26, 2014.
“The songs that I recorded are all pieces I’ve been singing and working on for several years,” Martin says. “These are songs that I love and that have really touched me.”
An album of bracing maturity, Living Room is not the work of a dewy ingénue. Rather, like some of the era’s most incisive jazz singers (René Marie and Judy Wexler come to mind), Martin dedicated herself to mastering the art form at mid-life. Possessing impeccable taste and blessed with a gloriously warm and clear voice, she makes every note count. More than setting a mood, Martin renders strikingly vivid scenes, from the beatifically becalmed (“Lazy Afternoon” and “Calling You”) to the quietly tempestuous (“I Never Meant to Hurt You” and “Wild Is the Wind”). It’s not much of a stretch to hear her training and experience as a psychotherapist deeply informing her sensibility as a singer.
“A collection of finely shaped and beautifully rendered performances.”
—Dan Bilawsky, allaboutjazz.com
“Singers like Audrey Martin…are ahead of the pack, lighting the way, and setting the pace…dive in and dig the cool…classy…”
—Mark Tucker, acousticmusic.com
“Jazz vocal fans will easily rate this set as essential. Well done.”
“A work of remarkable but unforced intimacy, Living Room introduces a singer who makes you hear familiar songs anew.”
—Andrew Gilbert (Andrew Gilbert writes for The San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, and other publications.)
—Chris Spector, midwestrecord.com