(2002, Fresh Sound)
This album made the top 10 List in the New York Times
NY Times: A Singer and Her Band Find a Place at the Edge of Jazz
“Whether it’s singing standards or her own material, Rebecca Martin has the ability to communicate emotion in a direct, head-on way. Her performances on “Middlehope” have a real immediacy and there’s a certain urgency in her interpretations that make you sit up and listen. The unique texture and playing of the ensemble that’s backing her adds to the wonderfully noncategorizable quality of her records.”
– Brad Mehldau
“A lot of negligible pop music gets passed off as ”jazzy”; a couple of diminished chords is all you need. But the singer Rebecca Martin, who seems to have the outer sensibility of a pop singer and the inner resources of a jazz musician, can get close to jazz, and both sides of the equation make out well.”
– Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
“Here is another terrific example of why I, and others like me, bother to engage in this practice. An incredible talent, a remarkable spirit, a true artist of substance this close to being absolutely huge, but not quite-yet. She’s one of the few that brings to the reviewer the simultaneous feelings of incredulity, at having the opportunity to make them more widely known, and gravity, in recognition of the heady responsibility that underlays the task of extolling them in credible fashion….Intimate, beguiling, personal, enticing, sensual, captivating, alluring-absolutely enthralling—wonderful even… Writing these words to describe the music leads me to actually seriously consider the question of whether a recording by a male artist is even capable of stirring such feelings in me (or any other heterosexual male reviewer, for that matter). No question, listening to this music produced a crush which will not be dissipating anytime soon.”
– Phil DiPietro, All About Jazz
“Middlehope is a gem.”
– Donna Kimura, Jazz Review
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