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When I Was Long Ago

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Customer Reviews

A modern classic!

This album features a great singer/songwriter - Rebecca Martin - who never takes the traditional route, even when she approaches songs like these that have been covered so many times before and by so many iconic performers.

Here she has put herself in the unique and quite sparse setting of just voice/bass/saxophone, with a minimalistic approach that is more about singing the song from INSIDE the song, rather than applying pyrotechnics and treating it mainly as an improvisatory vehicle. She reminds me of Johnny Hartman in her approach that way. Rebecca has dug up all the old verses to these songs - verses that were mostly lost or rarely performed when these songs became "standards". It's perhaps not surprising that it took as excellent a songwriter as Rebecca Martin to go back and approach them as SONGS again.

Here her chosen cast is bassist extraordinaire Larry Grenadier, primarily known today for being 1/3 of the Brad Mehldau Trio & co-leader of the trio Fly. But he is also a veteran of Joe Henderson's, Pat Metheny's and Stan Getz's bands (among countless others), and he manages to be an entire rhythm section on this album without ever playing a note too many.

Saxophonist Bill McHenry (who has been performing a lot with Paul Motian lately, as well as is a member of Guillermo Klein's magnificent orchestra Los Guachos), and who, himself, is a man who avoids cliches and overplayed Trane & Wayne licks, and who, therefore, in many ways is closer to Coltrane's spirit or, perhaps, to Lester Young & Ben Webster, in his approach to backing a singer.

Considering, again, the many icons that have sung these songs, and sung them with big bands, string sections or, at the very least, a piano to supply the harmony for the singer, it's a gamble for a singer to attempt versions in as "naked" a format as this. Rebecca Martin pulls it off with complete integrity, originality and considerable charm, and in a way that tells us that jazz-singing doesn't have to be confined to reinterpretation of the past.

And when you are done listening to this for a while, then check out Rebecca's wonderful original music on the album "The Growing Season" (produced by Kurt Rosenwinkel)!

Love it!

Just spent a nice calm Sunday morning with Rebecca Martin's "When I Was Long Ago"! A cup of coffee, a newspaper, and Rebecca's album made the perfect start to the day! Especially loved the tiny voice on "Charlie Sings". Too cute!


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Rebecca Martin has been involved in the music industry in one way or another since she was a child. At eight years old, she began to perform some. Just about the time she hit her teens, she started recording at a local studio. In college, she studied jazz vocal performance. She also took voice lessons for years. Her first paying gig was in New York City, at a Japanese restaurant. The payment for her entertainment was free sushi. Even her day jobs kept her close to the music business. For a while...
Full Bio
When I Was Long Ago, Rebecca Martin
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Vocal
  • Released: Aug 31, 2010

Customer Ratings