524

Martyna: Oh Butterfly

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Martyna: Oh Butterfly Oh Butterfly, the first release from British singer and songwriter Martyna, is a brief but impressive debut. Her voice is light and expressive while the songs, all self-penned, herald the arrival of a talented composer—and one of these songs has the potential to become a bona fide standard.

It's important not to give the young singer all the credit for Oh Butterfly. Pianist John Bowman's arrangements work exceptionally well, enabling the musicians to showcase their own talents without intruding on the singer's performance, and all band members play sympathetically. But it's Martyna's writing and singing that are central to the recording's success.

Martyna moved into jazz from the acoustic music scene, where singer/songwriters are the norm rather than the exception. Such experience has clearly benefited the singer—her writing already shows a lyrical and musical maturity that ensures that she avoids cliché, even though her subject matter is firmly within the tradition of jazz songs. "Falling for You" is a song of unrequited love, "all fireworks and explosions," introduced by Bowman's delicate piano and drummer Mike Wrigglesworth's brush work. "Oh Butterfly," by contrast, tells of love lost, or about to be lost—it's a beautiful ballad featuring excellent accompaniment from Bowman.

The standard-in-waiting is "Hurricane," a song which blends a gorgeous melody with intriguing lyrics—is the singer waiting for her lover to return, is she mourning his loss at sea, or is he a fantasy figure? Musically there is a Latin feel to the arrangement—Phil Danter's guitar is particularly effective here. Martyna's vocals are at the front of the mix, precise and emotive. Her performance on "Hurricane" is reminiscent of the work of Stacey Kent, one of the finest singers in contemporary jazz.

Martyna may not yet have Kent's breadth of expression, but there is plenty here to suggest that experience and confidence will build on her talent and ability. Oh Butterfly is a fine debut and a clear indication of a bright future.


Track Listing: Falling for You; Oh Butterfly; Fire in the House; Hurricane.

Personnel: Martyna: vocals; John Bowman: piano; Loz Garratt: bass; Phil Danter: guitar; Mike Wrigglesworth: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Vocal


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Porgy and Bess Live" CD/LP/Track Review Porgy and Bess Live
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review The Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Imagine Nation" CD/LP/Track Review Imagine Nation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Live in Tokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Tokyo
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!