Canal Street Online Manchester

Claire Martin live at Bridgewater Hall

Claire Martin live at Bridgewater Hall

It is always a pleasure to see the delightful Claire Martin in concert. When I heard she was performing with the BBC big band orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall, I made sure I would be in town for the performance.

Ms. Martin was her usual divine self, giving us the chance to hear the superb range of voice that she has. With her sense of humour and talent for bringing the whole show together, we were guaranteed an evening to remember.

The BBC Big Band is a big band of freelance jazz musicians hired on a gig by gig basis. They are the cream of the crop individually, so when they play together in a big band setting we really are getting some collective talent.

Celebrating the Ella Fitzgerald centenary, “the first lady of song” was never going to be easy, but Claire and the ensemble, pulled it off in true style. The house was rocking! The conductor, Barry Fogle, gave a very impressive performance at keeping the band under control in a most entertaining way. An audience of all ages prove that Ella has never lost the magic.

Her amazing songs were bought back to life by everyone on stage but particularly by Claire’s distinctive tone.

The drum solo in the last song, “sing, sing, sing” by the Scottish legend Tom Gordon completely blew me away. Never before have I heard a drummer play so prolonged and so exquisitely.  He literally made the drum combo sing.

A most varied, exciting and enjoyable evening. I personally can’t wait to see Claire Martin perform again, especially if she is backed by such a talented team.

Matthew King for Canal St Online.

Published: 29-Jun-2017

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