Rebecca Martin’s latest recording TWAIN, a collaboration with longtime partner bassist Larry Grenadier and produced by Pete Rende was catapulted to the #1 spot in Jazz in France on iTunes and Amazon. Revered music critic MICHEL CONTAT who writes for Telerama France, one of the largest publications in the country, gives the album four stars:
“TWAIN: The miraculous alchemy between a singer and bass player”
Rebecca Martin and Larry Grenadier are a couple who play together and separately, as he is also known for his key role as bassist in the famous Brad Mehldau Trio. We were introduced to them together through their enchanting disc When I Was Long Ago” (2010 Sunnyside), where the famous singer totally reinterpreted standards with a spell singing verses rarely included in the reference versions. This time, the deputy is a pianist and a drummer, and the very discreet duo assert a familiar song (“Sophisticated Lady”) with others that are all original that sound old and with a unique intimate beauty. We cannot overstate the importance of sincerity, as with Rebecca Martin, it is built entirely in art. Her voice is that of the love and confidence of maternal comfort. How the bass lines support is love itself. Such a disk is something miraculous in the avalanche of vocal jazz. – Michel Contat
Earlier this year, NATE CHINEN of the New York Times featured Martin in a full page Arts & Leisure piece titled “A Voice That Leaps Between Genres” proclaiming her work as an inspiration to a generation of jazz singers.
“Ms. Martin is a vocalist with an earnest and unaffected style and a songwriter of unforced insight…the new album also highlights a shift toward original material and folky ambience by a generation of singers, some of whom see Ms. Martin as a touchstone.” – Nate Chinen
Her sensitivity through singing, songs and a long standing commitment to community organizing landed her a spot as featured artist on Art of the Song, the public radio program heard nationwide over 150 stations. This hour long program celebrates the creativity of musicians who they believe are a ‘profound agent for community and for change.’ Listen here.
Fans on the West Coast in August will have the opportunity to hear Martin and Grenadier who will both be teaching in SAN FRANCISCO, CA at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and performing in LOS ANGELES, CA at THE BLUE WHALE located at 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street Suite 301 LA, CA on Saturday, August 10th. Doors at 8:00pm with a showtime at 9:00pm. Tickets are $15. Visit www.bluewhalemusic.com for more information.
KINGSTON, N.Y. — A New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure piece written by Nate Chinen was published this weekend on Rebecca Martin and her upcoming release TWAIN on Sunnyside Records (available nationwide on Tuesday, March 26th). “Ms. Martin is a vocalist with an earnest and unaffected style and a songwriter of unforced insight; Mr. Grenadier, her husband, is in the top tier of jazz bassists. Together they made Ms. Martin’s new album, “Twain,” due out on Sunnyside on Tuesday, in cloistered intimacy, recording a dozen of her songs with no initial accompaniment other than upright bass (his) and fingerpicked acoustic guitar (hers).”
“… the new album also highlights a shift toward original material and folky ambiance by a generation of jazz singers, some of whom see Ms. Martin as a touchstone. Among them are Gretchen Parlato and Becca Stevens, with whom Ms. Martin formed a collective called Tillery two years ago, after they struck an instant chemistry late one evening around her dinner table. “She’s been a great guide and mentor and sister in my songwriting,” said Ms. Parlato, who won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2004 but hadn’t written her own songs before befriending Ms. Martin.”
“…And, perhaps most of all, Ms. Martin’s songs, which have long dwelled in implication, creating a vivid emotional climate without divulging many details. One reason younger songwriters admire Ms. Martin may be that she writes from a place of genuine interiority; another is that her melodies and her lyrics feel so naturally enmeshed.”
Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin Discusses the Lyrics on TWAIN, Community and Collaborations.
Along with release of TWAIN on March 26, Martin looks ahead to performing with her trio TILLERY that features GRETCHEN PARLATO and BECCA STEVENS at the Kennedy Center for the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival In May
Kingston, NY – “I get all of my material for and emotional connection to the songs I write or interpret these days from hands on experiences,” says the singer and songwriter Rebecca Martin reflecting on the songs from TWAIN (Sunnyside Records). “I’ve become so active in our community that my life as an avid reader has transformed itself into one of an avid doer.”
A state of Maine native, Martin moved to New York City to pursue her musical endeavors. Throughout the 90’s, Martin co-led the influential duo Once Blue (EMI Records) with Jesse Harris. After a handful of critically acclaimed solo recordings Martin migrated North to the Hudson Valley with husband and collaborator Larry Grenadier and had a son. From that point on, in tandem with making music, she found a new way of using her organizational skills in community work. There, she tirelessly advocated for transparency and better communication between the people and government. This work eventually landed her a position as Executive Director of an Urban Land Trust in the area, where under her leadership the organization was sited as a national model for urban land trusts by the Land Trust Alliance. Known for her “dizzying array of local initiatives“, Martin and many volunteers created programs and committees for rail trails, urban agriculture, African-American cemetery preservation projects and more. “Having a child and being so far from family motivated me to get as involved as I have.” says Rebecca. “It has been an eye opening experience to say the least, and has certainly informed my music.”
Yesterday I saw it coming on.
There was little that the peasant could do.
Into their hearts fully open and aligned
for the daggers and arrows that flew.
Just beyond the hillside
back where the curtain calls to us
There the music reminds me
that the whole world is waiting to find us”
From “Beyond the Hillside” by Rebecca Martin
“There are two distinct story lines running through this particular piece, the ‘bearing witness’ to the many unpleasantries out in the field and the hopefulness in the music. It’s a very bittersweet song.”
Martin credits her friendship with GRETCHEN PARLATO and BECCA STEVENS as being her ‘touchstone to the music’ during the recent phase in her life of work, family and community. The inspiration she drew from their communion resulted in the formation of the super group TILLERY, a trio that they share. The three kindred spirits’ seamless rapport has been wowing audiences since they joined forces in 2010. These days, the threesome work together when schedules permit, including a prestigious performance at the KENNEDY CENTER in Washington, D.C. as part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival on May 17th, 2013.
To help Martin celebrate her new release TWAIN, Parlato and Stevens will join her on stage for a song at the Rockwood Music Hall, stage 2 located at 196 Allen Street, NY on Thursday, March 28th in New York City. Tickets for the event are $15 and can be purchased online by visiting ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL.
NPR Chooses Jazz Singer and Songwriter Rebecca Martin’s Upcoming Release TWAIN as “One to Look Out For in 2013”. Record Release and a live recording scheduled at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City in March.
In anticipation of the jazz singer and songwriter Rebecca Martin’s upcoming release on Sunnyside Records, NPR’s Patrick Jarenwattananon includes TWAIN as one of 15 buzzed about jazz/ish albums to look out for in 2013.
“The vocalist Rebecca Martin’s last album was a collection of standards, recorded only with a saxophonist (Bill McHenry) and a bass player, Larry Grenadier. Think of TWAIN as a sequel of sorts: It’s a program of mostly originals, backed only by Grenadier, who is also her husband. As a singer, she has a sense of nuance that fits a spare setting well; as a songwriter, she’s already put out several albums of her own tunes.”
Rebecca Martin will be accompanied by bassist Larry Grenadier at New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall room 2 on Thursday, March 28th, two days after the records release. They will perform one set of original compositions and standards. The performance will also be recorded by Pete Rende in preparation for a live recording. Tickets are $15.00. The Rockwood Music Hall (stage 2) is located at 196 Allen Street, NYC 10002. Tickets can be purchased online at the ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL. For more information, call 212/477-4155.
A highly accomplished husband and wife team, Grenadier and Martin earn continual accolades for their live performances. Renowned critic Alain Burnet of Montreal’s La Presse wrote “In the circles of Jazz in New York…[Martin’s] approval rating has risen steadily over recent years, and for good reason. In Montreal, she still remains a secret….I will not keep it to myself: count me in!”
“Rebecca Martin, Twain: The vocalist Rebecca Martin‘s last album was a collection of standards, recorded only with a saxophonist (Bill McHenry) and a bass player, Larry Grenadier. Think of Twain as a sequel of sorts: It’s a program of mostly originals, backed only by Grenadier, who is also her husband. As a singer, she has a sense of nuance that fits a spare setting well; as a songwriter, she’s already put out several albums of her own tunes. Out March 26.”
SEE the list on NPR. By Patrick Jarenwattananon.
Singer/Songwriter and Jazz vocalist Rebecca Martin’s new album TWAIN features a dozen new original compositions and one classic interpretation, all performed in understated acoustic arrangements based around Martin’s indelible voice and supple guitar work, and the subtly inventive support of her husband and longtime collaborator, acclaimed bassist Larry Grenadier.
Martin reflects “My records over the years have become more quiet and introspective, which probably has to do with the need and appreciation for personal space…it makes sense that my reaction to a world that feels speedy, harsh and loud is to offer music that provokes slowness, emotion, and quiet.”
On such melodically arresting, emotionally vivid new tunes as “To Up and Go,” “Don’t Mean A Thing At All,” “Beyond The Hillside,” and “Some Other Place, Some Other Time,” Martin sings with a quietly commanding intensity that lends immediacy to her lyrical insights.
Meanwhile, her distinctive reading of the Duke Ellington classic “Sophisticated Lady” once again demonstrates the uncanny interpretive skills that she previously revealed on a pair of much-celebrated standards albums.
Writing in the New York Times, critic Nate Chinen shrewdly observed that Martin “exudes the plainest sort of poise, almost radical in its utter lack of flash,” and that though she is “unerringly faithful to the melodies of the songs, both standards and originals,” she makes them seem “less like songs than like articulations of her state of mind.”
Raul D’Gama Rose of All About Jazz wrote “Martin is a composer of considerable talent, approaching the repertoire that she serves up like a master-chef, creating rare and fine epicurean fare,” while Jazz Times’ Christopher Loudon likened Martin’s vocals to “Modgliani portraits,” noting that they “share a sharply honed, less-is-more sensibility that, paradoxically, adds to their depth, their denseness and their haunting aftereffects.”
Martin and Grenadier recorded most of Twain in a small bedroom in the apartment of longtime cohort and pianist Pete Rende, who produced, engineered, and mixed the album. “For the most part, what we did and how we felt on that day became the record,” Martin says. That emotional immediacy comes through on the elegantly spare, eloquently direct recording. Martin muses “This record has been a long time in the making. A lot of living and a lot of energy have gone into the creation of this group of songs.”
A New York City record release performance will be announced shortly.
For more information, contact Patrice Fehlen at September Gurl Music: 718/768-3859 email@example.com
Rebecca Martin is heading back into the studio to make a new recording of originals (and a standard) with Larry Grenadier in March/April. A March 2013 release on the Sunnyside Label has been scheduled.
Rebecca Martin along with Becca Stevens, Gretchen Parlato, Tillery, Aaron Parks, Kate McGarry, Taylor Eigsti, Harish Raghavan, Larry Grenadier and others contributed to the newly released album “My Life is Bold” an Arts for Life Project.
A release date will be scheduled soon, and all proceeds from the CD will be donated to ‘Arts for Life’.
“Music is an integral part of the vital support services the Arts for Life team offers to young patients and families. Arts for Life Music Fellow Colin Allured describes his job as “growing happy cell” where cancer cells used to be. In 2009, Becca Stevens sang at an AFL fundraiser and she and her father, William Stevens, had the idea to set some of the children’s poetry to music for the event. The response to those two songs was so strong that discussions of a CD began, including Becca’s brother Bill who is a composer and recording studio engineer.
Producer William Stevens says, “We were overwhelmed by how many composers and musicians were willing to give so much time and creative energy to this project. But it didn’t stop there. The CD was made possible by the generosity of patrons, by free time provided by recording studios in North Carolina and New York, with the encouragement and support of the AFL staff and board, and most of all by the children in Arts for Life and their families who showed us the power of art to inspire, to change, and to heal.”
Arts for Life is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people facing serious illnesses. By providing educational art programs, they enrich patients’ lives, nurture their minds and spirits, and encourage positive health care experiences for children and their families. Arts for Life helps children every day in four cities across North Carolina.
Michael’s Mind (Disaster, or Unknown)
Poem by Michael, Age 11. Music by Rebecca Martin
Performed by: Rebecca Martin
Child’s Voice: Charlie Grenadier
Acoustic Bass: Larry Grenadier
Background Vocals: Becca Stevens
50% Bionicles. 1% School. 25% Pizzas. 4% Video Games. 20% Whales, dolphins and marine life.
Michael’s mind, what goes on in there? Constant Parties? Nonsense and bionicles.
I have a big mind, and it is split into lots of sections. That what I feel like sometimes.
It’s gonna end up in chaos and headaches.
Sometimes the people partying in my head fight which causes headaches.
Lately they’ve been doing this really good.
Then they settle the agreement and order a pizza which goes down my throat into my stomach.
(Michael had struggled with a brain tumor and has since past).