524

Martyna: Oh Butterfly

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Oh Butterfly | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Triple Double CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Jazz Flute Traditions" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Flute Traditions
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau" CD/LP/Track Review Chris Thile & Brad Mehldau
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Jorg Schippa's Kiosk" CD/LP/Track Review Jorg Schippa's Kiosk
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.